HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Southern Miss knows exactly who is coming to town on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Alcorn State – the defending SWAC champions led by the conference’s Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Noah Johnson.
The familiarity grows considering USM’s head coach Jay Hopson is just four years removed from coaching the Braves – where he won 32 games and two SWAC titles in four seasons.
Not far removed from Lorman is Southern Miss graduate transfer Terry Whittington, who said he expects to receive is SWAC championship ring pretty soon.
After leading Alcorn State with nine sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss last season, Whittington’s eager to put on a Golden Eagle jersey and line up against his former teammates.
"It's a great opportunity to go back and play your alma mater,” said Whittington, who’s expected to play the wolf linebacker position at USM. “You know, I actually graduated from there. Getting to face them for my first time actually in a big game is going to be a wonderful experience."
"I recruited Terry out of Miami a long time ago so I knew what type of athlete he was,” Hopson said. “To be honest with you, we actually had lost a couple guys there at our wolf position and we felt like we needed some depth at that position. It’s a good addition for us and he's had a good camp."
“Even though they ran some of the things at Alcorn that we run here, we’ve changed a lot in the last three to four years,” said USM defensive coordinator Tim Billings. “He’s still learning the system. I feel as the year goes, he’ll get better and better.”