HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss opened up its 2017 season against Kentucky on Saturday.
The Golden Eagles were looking to beat the Wildcats for the second year in a row, but ended up losing 24-17.
Head coach, Jay Hopson said, "We felt like we were ready to make a run in the 4th quarter. We really did. I could see it in their eyes. I wish the game had another 15 more minutes left to it. But the reality is, it doesn’t. Give Kentucky all the credit in the world. They played tough football."
Southern Miss started the game with Keon Howard as quarterback. But in the second half, Coach Hopson gave Kwadra Griggs a chance. And that is when the offense started clicking. He completed 15/26 passes, threw for 222 yards, and also completed two touchdown passes to wide receiver, Korey Robertson.
"I moved the ball well, but I left a lot of plays on the field. I think we had multiple opportunities to win that game today. I hate that I left multiple plays on the field, but it's football. It happens," said Griggs.
"For him just getting out there, stepping up and making plays when he needed to, I think he played well. Of course there's things we can work on and he can work on, but I think he did a good job," said Robertson.
The Golden Eagles may have lost this game, but Coach Hopson was proud of his team's effort.
"I like the spirit of this team. Our guys were fighting hard. They kept coming back. A lot of guys get down by 14 or so to an SEC team, and these guys kept coming back," said Hopson.
Southern Miss will hope to bounce back from this loss and put up a better result against Southern on Saturday, September 9.
Kickoff is at 6 p.m. at The Rock.