Photos by Sean Smith, SM2
HATTIESBURG, MS – Southern Miss needed to pull something out of its back pocket to pull off a stunning comeback against Arkansas State, and Head Coach Will Hall and company did just that. Hall put walk-on quarterback Jake Lange in at the end of the third quarter because it “put them in the best position to win the game.”
Lange delivered, and Hall’s decision-making at coaching fueled a 13-0 fourth quarter to lead the Golden Eagles to its first homecoming win since 2019 and the largest comeback win since the road match against Kentucky in 2016.
“Since I’ve gotten here, I’ve talked a lot about how we are doing things the right way, how we are building this program back the right way. I’ve talked about how we are doing good things nobody sees. One day we are going to start winning game too [but] right now we just aren’t a complete team,” Hall said. “I know it’s not pretty. I’m going to be honest with you that it may not be pretty for a while around here.”
Hall also added that it was the fight of the Golden Eagles that led the squad to victory.
“I saw a group of kids that battled all week. I saw a group of kids that saw things not go in their way for three quarters, but they kept battling,” Hall said.
Arkansas State opened the game with a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. Starting quarterback James Blackman found wide receiver Jeff Foreman for a 28-yard touchdown pass to go up 7-0 early.
“I never felt like [our defense] wasn’t working. He was completing passes but they weren’t scoring. We completed a lot of passes last week, but we didn’t score. I thought our defense was working and I
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