Photo and story by USM Athletics
Southern Miss snapped a three-game losing streak against UAB, winning 37-2 and reached postseason eligibility in the process Saturday afternoon before 27,819 at M.M. Roberts Stadium.
Quarterback Jack Abraham threw a pair of touchdowns and the Golden Eagles defense held the Blazers’ offense without a point.
The win was just Southern Miss’ second win over the Blazers in the past nine seasons, but gave the Golden Eagles (6-3, 4-1 C-USA) bowl eligibility for the fourth consecutive season under Coach Jay Hopson.
Saturday marked the earliest calendar date (Nov. 9) as well as the earliest in the schedule (ninth game) Southern Miss had gained postseason eligibility in Hopson’s four seasons.
Abraham threw touchdown passes of 20 yards to Quez Watkins and 9 yards to Tim Jones. Abraham, who was sacked four times and passing under pressure another half dozen times, completed 17-of-22 passes for 164 yards.
Andrew Stein connected on field goals of 25 yards, 35 yards and 44 yards.
Running back Steven Anderson scored on a 6-yard run and safety D.Q. Thomas became the first Golden Eagle to turn an interception into a touchdown this season, returning a mistake by UAB quarterback Dylan Hopkins 55 yards for a score.
Hopkins completed 15-of-25 passes for 103 yards with two interceptions.
All told, UAB (6-3, 3-2) managed just 173 yards against the Golden Eagles, the second consecutive game Southern Miss had held an opponent to less than 200 yards total offense and less than 10 points.
The only points the Blazers managed came on a third-quarter sack of Abraham in the end zone, with offensive lineman Drake Dorbeck swatting the fumble through the back of the end zone.
Kevin Perkins led the Southern Miss ground game with 94 yards on just six carries, including a 79-yard jaunt in the fourth quarter that set up Jones’ first TD catch of the season.
Jones had a game-high six catches for 67 yards, while Watkins had five catches for 87 yards.
Southern Miss travels to San Antonio, Texas, to take on UTSA at 5 p.m. Saturday.