Southern Miss still seeking bowl eligibility after loss to South Alabama

Published 9:10 pm Saturday, November 19, 2022

HATTIESBURG — Southern Miss entered November needing only one win to become elgiible for a bowl game.

It only has one more chance to get it.

Carter Bradley threw two of his three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, and South Alabama beat Southern Miss 27-20 Saturday night for the Jaguars’ fourth consecutive win and seventh in the last eight games.

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Southern Miss (5-6, 3-4 Sun Belt Conference) lost its third game in a row, with the last two coming by a total of 10 points. It plays its regular-season finale at Louisiana-Monroe on Nov. 26, and needs to win that game for the sixth victory of the season that will make it bowl-eligible.

“We’ve done a great job to take it from one step from not being respectable to being very respectable, on an extremely difficult schedule. I mean, I think seven teams (including Southern Miss) have played five opponents that have won eight or more, I don’t know how many have played nine or more. There’s only, you know, one with a winning record. And we’re right there,” Southern Miss coach Will Hall said. “You know, we win next week, we’ll have a winning record. Well, we’ll have a chance to have a winning record. So we’ve done a good job getting to this point, we got to take the next step.”

Freshman Braylon McReynolds ran for 102 yards on 15 carries and added three receptions for 66 yards in his first career start for South Alabama (9-2, 6-1). La’Damian Webb, the team’s leading rusher with 938 yards on 179 carries and 13 TDs, didn’t play due to an injury suffered in last week’s win over Texas State.

Frank Gore Jr. scored on a 7-yard run in the first quarter and his 29-yard TD pass to Jason Brownlee late in the third quarter put Southern Miss in front, 17-13. Gore finished with 20 carries for 66 yards.

Devin Voisin caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from Bradley with 11:31 to play and Caullin Lacy’s TD reception with 1:53 to go gave South Alabama a 27-17 lead.

Southern Miss drove back down the field and cut the deficit to seven with Briggs Bourgeois’ 36-yard field goal with 13 seconds left. The ensuing onside kick was mishandled by Voisin, but he was able to get it back from under a pile of players to seal South Alabama’s victory.

“I thought one of the cool things in this game and this is what I’m really proud of our team is we constantly recaptured momentum against a team that plays very emotional and I mean they played with a lot of energy, all that stuff, and we were able to just keep regaining momentum against us and I thought that was really huge,” South Alabama coach Kane Wommack said.