Southern Miss drops Miami matchup 30-7 after taking early lead

The No. 15 Miami Hurricanes (2-0) flexed their strength with a 30-7 win against Southern Miss (0-2), but the Golden Eagles put Hard Rock Stadium on an early upset watch.

True freshman quarterback Zach Wilcke connected with Jason Brownlee on an over-the-shoulder shot to the endzone for a 32-yard touchdown in the second quarter to give Southern Miss a 7-3 lead.

Wilcke’s 16 completions were a significant shift in offense from Southern Miss’ superback system featured in week one, marking the most completions since Jake Lange’s 23 last October against Rice. He threw for a 59% completion rate for 207 yards with a touchdown and a pick.

“I thought he played well. His eyes were right and I thought he threw an accurate ball which we see every day in practice,” Head Coach Will Hall said. “We made the decision to play him really more about Miami than about us. I got great respect for Miami but they [had] a base defense and let their athletes play, so we knew Zach would know where they would be and let his talent take over.”

Southern Miss fans saw more of what was expected from the defense, but this time, against a ranked offense. The Nasty Bunch held the Hurricanes to just 20 rushing yards in the first half and pressured quarterback Tyler Van Dyke with constant pressures that resulted in three sacks.

“We’re going to be a tough one,” defensive back Malik Shorts said. “There’s a long road ahead, but Rome wasn’t built in one day either. We still have time, but this defense is probably the best defense I’ve been a part of since I’ve been here at USM that I can say I contributed to. These guys play hard and will continue to play hard, and I’m just thankful for

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