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Southern Miss stomped by South Alabama 55-3 as Hall’s future in question

Photo courtesy of USM Athletics

Pure domination was in effect Tuesday night, and it wasn’t in favor of Southern Miss with the Golden Eagles falling 55-3 to South Alabama in front of a nationally televised audience.

South Alabama set multiple single-game school records in the win over Southern Miss, including most yards of offense (647), most rushing touchdowns (7), and largest margin of victory over an FBS program.

“I think it’s probably one of the more dominant performances I’ve been part of. Arguably our most dominant performance since I’ve been here,” third-year South Alabama head coach Kane Wommack said. “I thought our guys were really starting to lean into how we’re supposed to start the game. I would argue that four of our last five games, offensively, we’ve really come out playing well, doing our job, and being consistent.”

Mississippians showed out

While silver linings for Southern Miss were slim, those in attendance or watching from home may have recognized more than one nameplate as over 22 players with Mississippi connections reached the field Tuesday night.

Having the biggest game of them all was South Alabama running back La’Damian Webb. The Jones County Junior College product tied a school record with four rushing touchdowns on 102 yards. Additionally, backup and Columbia native Kentrel Bullock capitalized on his playing time with 58 yards and a touchdown.

For Southern Miss, Union native Kenyon Clay had the best game of his young career. The freshman led the team with 60 rushing yards on 10 carries, including a nice 15-yard gain in the fourth quarter.

Golden Eagles cornerback and Lucedale native MJ Daniels picked up his first interception of the year while South Alabama linebacker and Oxford High graduate Quentin Wilfawn had five tackles, one of which was for loss.

And don’t forget about the punter, because that’s one thing Southern Miss did a lot of Tuesday night. Sand Hill native Bryce Lofton had seven boots with a 41.6-yard average.

Clock may be ticking for Will Hall

With postseason hopes all but crushed, many Southern Miss fans are calling for head coach Will Hall to be fired.

After the post-game press conference, Hall was seen meeting with athletic director Jeremy McClain on the field in Mobile. While the content of the conversation is unknown, the public gathering after a tough road loss has fans wondering.

If McClain were to make the mid-season decision to move away from Hall, the Golden Eagles are hitting a 10-day stretch before their next game. Hall, who signed a four-year deal before the 2021 season with a base salary of $800,000, has a buyout of $1.7 million.

When asked after the game about his team’s struggles on Tuesday night, Hall couldn’t help but be blunt.

“Tough night for us obviously. They kicked our butts in every way and didn’t do much of anything in any phase,” Hall said.

The third-year coach went on to attribute the team taking a step back this season – less than a year after winning their first bowl game since 2016 – to losing older players, injuries in the secondary, and inability to convert on offense.

Next up

Both South Alabama (4-3, 2-1 Sun Belt) and Southern Miss (1-6, 0-4) will get some extra rest after playing the mid-week contest. The Golden Eagles will travel to Appalachian State on Oct. 28. The Jaguars will take on Louisiana at home that same day.

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