In their first game of the 2020 season, the Southern Miss Golden Eagles were upset, 32-21, by the Jaguars of South Alabama.
South Alabama wasted no time putting the ball in the end zone as sophomore quarterback Desmond Trotter hit preseason All-Sun Belt receiver Jalen Tolbert for a 73-yard touchdown just one minute into the game.
The Jaguars extended their lead by two scores with a 2-yard touchdown run by Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCC) product Terrion Avery.
Southern Miss finally got on the scoreboard when former Pisgah phenom Don Ragsdale found his way into the end zone on a 2-yard rush, following a big catch by All-Conference USA wide receiver Tim Jones.
Then, at the end of the second quarter, the Golden Eagles pulled it within three, 13-10, after Briggs Bourgeois nailed a 24-yard field goal.
Coming out of the half, Trotter connected with Tolbert once again to re-extend South Alabama’s lead to two possessions.
The two teams then traded field goals to make the score 23-13 going into the fourth quarter.
The Golden Eagles’ comeback hopes were crushed at the beginning of the fourth quarter when yet another MGCC alum, Chance Lovertich, found his way into the scoring mix. The Brandon native hit Kawaan Baker for a 52-yard touchdown with 10:20 left on the game clock.
Southern Miss scored once more with 5:42 remaining, but the Jaguars immediately replied with a game-sealing 34-yard field goal.
Quarterback Jack Abraham finished the night with 314 passing yards and Jones added 6 catches for 139 yards. Outside of Abraham and Jones, the brightest spot, offensively, for the Golden Eagles was running back Frank Gore, Jr.
Son of NFL legend Frank Gore, the true freshman only managed 32 yards on the ground, but for anyone watching the game, it was obvious that the kid’s football IQ is head and shoulders higher than your typical freshman.
This was called back because of forward progress being stopped, but you’ve gotta love this lateral by Frank Gore Jr. pic.twitter.com/ePEJ0FgmkY
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) September 4, 2020
For the Jaguars, Trotter threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns, while both Tolbert and Jalen Wayne found themselves north of 100 yards in the receiving category—the first time in South Alabama’s history that two wide receivers surpassed 100 yards in the same game.
It was the first road win for a South Alabama squad that went 2-10 last season since 2017 and the first season opener loss for the Golden Eagles in three seasons.
Next up for Southern Miss (0-1) will be Louisiana Tech on September 19. For South Alabama (1-0), the Jaguars will welcome Tulane to Mobile next Saturday, September 12.