Miami looking for second win of season against Southern Miss

Sophomore running back Thaddius Franklin, Jr. takes down members of Bethune-Cookman's defense during Miami's victory on Sept. 3 at Hard Rock Stadium.
Sophomore running back Thaddius Franklin, Jr. takes down members of Bethune-Cookman's defense during Miami's victory on Sept. 3 at Hard Rock Stadium. Photo credit: Alexandra Carnochan

On Saturday, the No. 15 Miami Hurricanes look for their second win against the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles.

This will be the first time that the programs face each other on the football field. The Hurricanes enter the match as the overwhelming favorites. Southern Miss is looking for its first win after its 29-27 loss to the Liberty Flames, which took four overtimes to decide.

“When you play a team as disruptive as they are, you make sure that your team is playing disciplined football and taking care of business as it relates to us.” Miami head coach Mario Cristobal said to reporters on Wednesday about playing the Golden Eagles.

Southern Miss is a team that heavily relies on its run game. In its previous match, it ran the ball 54 times, compared to throwing the ball 13 times. Nine out of those 13 passes were thrown by quarterbacks Ty Keyes and Trey Lowe, while the other four were thrown by sophomore running back Frank Gore Jr. out of the wildcat formation.

Gore, who is the son of Hurricanes and NFL legend Frank Gore Sr., was impressive running the ball. On his 32 touches, he rushed for 178 yards, which averages out to 5.6 yards per carry. He also had a pair of touchdowns.

“[Gore is] just a winner,” Southern Miss Head Coach Will said to reporters. “He’s trying to prove people wrongand he’s willing to do whatever it takes [to win].”

“He’s a stud,” Cristobal said about Gore. “He’s a really dangerous football player and we all know who he reminds us of.”

The Hurricanes themselves are trying to establish a strong running gameand showcased improvement in their last contest against Bethune-Cookman, totaling 305 rushing yards.

This could improve further with the possible return of key starters to the run game. Third-year sophomore running back Jaylan Knighton and junior offensive tackle Zion Nelson are expected to be available after missing Miami’s season openers due to injuries.

“Jaylan Knighton is on his way back to being able to play this weekend and we feel the same way about Zion,” Cristobal said.

On the other side of the ball, Cristobal had mixed feelings regarding UM’s defensive performance last game.

“Hot and cold,“ Cristobal said about his team’s defense. “We got sloppy with technique and we are attacking and addressing it. We got to be better and I trust that we will.”

The ‘Canes will take on Southern Miss on Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for noon.