USM quarterback competition remains a weekly battle

USM quarterback competition remains a weekly battle

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Southern Miss sophomore quarterback Keon Howard started for Southern Miss for the second straight game on Saturday, leading the Golden Eagles to their second straight win.

Howard passed for 221 yards, a touchdown and threw two interceptions in USM's 24-0 win over UTEP. The Laurel grad started for the injured Kwadra Griggs at UTSA on October 7 after Griggs had started the previous three contests.

Both quarterbacks have started three games a piece for the Golden Eagles. Griggs leads USM in passing with 951 yards and eight touchdowns while Howard has thrown for 591 yards and four touchdowns.

USM head coach Jay Hopson has yet to name a starting quarterback for the Eagles' visit to Louisiana Tech this weekend. Regardless of who gets the nod, Southern Miss is glas to have two experienced signal-callers.

"We're always going to watch that [quarterback competition] close," Hopson said. "At the end of the day, we're always going to compete at that deal."

"You need to have a couple that can play because the game is getting more and more physical," said USM offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson. "You never know when freak things are going to happen. Having guys ready, it's crucial. With the way we play offense, 'cause the quarterback does get hit more, we give more guys reps 'cause they have to be ready to go in."