HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Just two weeks before the 2009 season opener, Southern Miss went through its second and final preseason football scrimmage here Saturday morning at Carlisle-Faulkner Field at Roberts Stadium.
Second-year coach Larry Fedora liked what he saw in the scrimmage as they went through many different scenarios in preparation for the Golden Eagles season opener, Sept. 5, against Alcorn State.
"I was really pleased," Fedora said. "We put the team through a lot of adverse situations. We tried to simulate every situation in a game that could come up. There were a lot of good things and a lot of bad things, which is about what I was expecting. I was pleased with the effort and see the guys push through. Overall I thought it was a good day."
Austin Davis threw for 268 yards on 15-of-24 passing with an interception and a pair of touchdowns to go along with seven plays of 20 or more yards passing. The scoring strikes came in the form of a 22-yard pass across the middle to Jonathan Massey and a 25-yard pass in the end zone to DeAndre Brown.
Brown saw action with limited contact, while senior running back Damion Fletcher did not.
"Damion did not play today, but DeAndre did get quite a few snaps," Fedora said. "He still had a red jersey on, but did get hit hard on one play I know, but he did score about a 25 yard touchdown on a fade down near the red zone. He is coming along nicely. He still is not ready where he needs to be, but we do not play today."
Brown caught five passes for 48 yards. Senior Gerald Baptiste led the way for the receivers with three receptions for 104 yards. Freshman Mookie Assad caught a pair of passes for 56 yards, while redshirt freshman Jordan McNair also caught a pair of passes for 52 yards.
Damion did not play today but DeAndre did get quite a few snaps, he still had a red jersey on but did get hit hard on one play I know but he did score about a 25 yard touchdown on a fade down near the red-zone. He is coming along nicely. He still is not ready where he needs to be, but we do not play today.
Junior V.J. Floyd, redshirt freshman Desmond Johnson and freshman Tracey Lampley shouldered the load on the ground. Lampley had 66 yards on 19 carries and a pair of three-yard rushing scores, while Johnson added 67 yards on 19 rushes and a one-yard score, while Floyd tallied 54 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown.
Still, Fedora was a little displeased with the offense as the turned ball over a few times during the scrimmage.
Andre Watson, C.J. Bailey and Marcal Robinson each recovered fumbles, while Robinson also blocked a punt and Chico Hunter collected the lone interception of the day.
Despite the block field goal, junior Justin Estes enjoyed a solid day hitting on nine-of-10 field goals and hit all four point-after-touchdown tries.
Still, Fedora wants to see his team be more consistent on both sides of the football.
"Throughout camp there has been days where the defense has been the best team on the field and there has been days that the offense has been the best," Fedora said. "We are striving just like everyone else in the country to get to where we are playing at that consistent level all the time, a very high consistent level and we are not quite there yet."
Season, Flex Plan and single-game tickets are all available through the Southern Miss Athletic Ticket Office. Fans can purchase tickets via online at SouthernMiss.com, or by the phone at 1-800-844-TICK (8425) or by walk-up at the Pat Ferlise Ticket Office, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., located on West 4th Street on the north side of the Golden Eagle campus.