HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - "I remember thinking like, I made two or three tackles back to back to back and I was like, 'This is going to be a long game,'" said USM sophomore linebacker Paxton Schrimsher.
Schrimsher ended up with five tackles, including two for loss, in the Golden Eagles' 31-29 win over UTSA.
Facing a team that entered Saturday leading the Conference USA in rushing, Schrimsher helped a Southern Miss defense hold the Roadrunners to just 102 yards on the ground.
"It was very fun, that was a fun game to play in," Schrimsher said. "We knew they were going to try to run it down our throats and you can't ask for more as a linebacker."
"Paxton's an extremely smart football player," said USM defensive coordinator Tony Pecoraro. "He did a heck of a job on Saturday, especially for really only practicing three days. Extremely smart football player, very physical football player. Definitely glad that we have him on this football team."
Versatile would be a another adjective to describe Schrimsher. The sophomore started the season at the "wolf" position - a outside linebacker/defensive end hybrid. When linebacker Sherrod Ruff left the North Texas game with an injury, Schrimsher was called to step into the inside linebacker role.
"[Schrimsher]'s such a team player too, an unselfish guy," said USM head coach Jay Hopson. "Whatever the team needs and he goes in there and, to me, just played lights out inside. He's football player."
"Whatever they put in front of me I'll be ready to take on," Schrimsher said. "I've never been one to shy away from a challenge."
Schrimsher's won't-back-down attitude and strong faith has served him well throughout his football career. It helped him overcome a knee injury his freshman year, and will continue to help him with whatever challenges await.
"I think God has put me in an awesome position right now," Schrimsher said. "My personal life, I've recently built a strong relationship with Christ. I think that's a part of His reward. I think He's given me an awesome platform. I try to stay humble about it because I know it's because of Him, the reason I'm making all these plays."