Southern Miss peeks ahead to ’23 season in spring game

Published 10:15 pm Saturday, April 1, 2023

HATTIESBURG — For Southern Miss football coach Will Hall, Saturday’s annual spring game provided an opportunity to see what the future of the program will look like.

The Golden Eagles ran between 80 and 100 plays after a short stretching session in front of fans. Hall then took his squad through red zone and two-minute drill situations before calling it quits at M.M. Roberts Stadium.

It was the 13th of 15 scheduled spring practices for the Golden Eagles. They open the 2023 season on Sept. 2, at home against Alcorn State.

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“I really want to thank the good Lord for how far we’ve come,” Hall said. “I thought it was a really good day and the main thing I liked — besides that we stayed healthy for the most part — was it was almost the exact opposite from the last scrimmage. The offense started hot last scrimmage and the defense reacted to finish strong. Today, the defense started hot, and the offense finished strong.”

Hall was able to get a good look at newcomer Ques McNeal during Saturday’s live scrimmage. McNeal most notably picked off a pass from Zach Wilcke that would have gone for a pick-six had the play not been stopped.

“Ah man, Ackerman, Mississippi; that’s a small Mississippi football town,” Hall said of McNeal’s hometown. “He’s a tough kid that went to Co-Lin and he’s really fit into our culture. He’s a ball hawk and he’s had a great spring.”

Southern Miss fans also got a taste of what Dreke Clark is going to bring to the table. The Memphis transfer took a majority of the snaps from the backfield and rushed for a couple of touchdowns.

“Dreke has had a phenomenal spring,” Hall said. “When you add him and Kenyon (Clay) into the mix with Frank (Gore), we’ve got a really bonafide Division I running back room. We’re excited about Dreke. I signed him at Memphis and he goes there, then we got him back down here.”