USM defense challenges itself ahead of North Texas game

USM defense challenges itself ahead of North Texas game

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Southern Miss will not field a football team on Saturday – but coach Jay Hopson wants to see his team improve this week.

The Golden Eagles (3-2, 1-0 Conference USA) are working on fundamentals and technique during their bye week, ahead of the October 12 contest against North Texas.

The USM defensive backfield knows the challenge that is coming to the Rock next Saturday – the Mean Green have the second-best scoring offense in C-USA at 33 points per game and fourth-best passing offense, averaging 269.8 yards per game.

Southern Miss leads the conference with an average of 313.3 passing yards per game. However, the Eagles rank 13th in pass defense – yielding 267 yards per game.

Eliminating explosive pass plays is among some of the talking points at USM practice this week.

"We're always in the right area,” said USM junior defensive back Ky’El Hemby. “Sometimes we might have an eye violation – might be looking at the wrong thing that might pull you out of the area. It's all things that we can control and it's all kind of like mental things. The small mental things, they add up."

“I think everything’s correctable,” said USM head coach Jay Hopson. “We’ve got the same guys that have been playing with us for two and a half years now. The few little things we have have been things that are little details we have to correct. I thought we played better Saturday and our journey is we want to get better every week. I think this defense is maturing and I think they’ll answer the bell.”

Copyright 2019 WDAM. All rights reserved.