Southern Miss focused on task at hand

Southern Miss focused on task at hand
USM (9-9, 2-3), which saw a two-game winning streak snapped. (Photo source: USM)

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - After a thrilling, 44-35 comeback against the University of Kentucky in last week's football season opener, The University of Southern Mississippi finds itself in a position, where if not careful, the Golden Eagles might find themselves caught looking backward.

Fat chance.

"You know how they say 'any given Sunday' in the NFL?" USM tight end Julian Allen said. "Well, we're not that way. That's not who we are. We're just going to continue to work."

USM (1-0) will focus on the task at hand, a 6 p.m. kickoff with Football Championship Subdivision member Savannah State (0-1) at M.M. Roberts Stadium.

The Tigers, who have won just once the last two seasons, started the 2016 campaign with a 54-0 loss to Georgia Southern. Savannah State threw for just 80 yards and ran for 34 yards.

But the Golden Eagles are approaching the game just as they would any other.

"We're not going to treat any team differently," USM defensive coordinator Tony Pecoraro said. "We're going to give every team they respect they deserve in our preparation."

USM Coach Jay Hopson said the week also has been about correcting the missed assignments, mental mistakes and lack of execution that marred the Golden Eagles opening-week performance against the Wildcats.

"We know we have to get better from week one to week two," Hopson said. "That's our charge if we hope to be successful. We have to correct our mistakes, and we know that."

Even with one emotional victory behind them, the first home game of the season should provide a boost for the players.

"It's just special," Hopson said. "It's just a great environment and I know the players are excited to be home and looking forward to the fans packing The Rock. We know what a special environment it is when it's a packed house."

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