USM embraces challenge ahead with visit to Florida State

Dan O'Brien, Southern Miss
Dan O'Brien, Southern Miss
Published: Sep. 6, 2023 at 11:09 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Southern Miss head coach Will Hall said Florida State has “no weaknesses.”

Certainly, none appeared in the Seminoles’ 45-24 rout of No. 5 LSU to open the season on Sunday.

The win catapulted FSU to No. 4 in the Associated Press poll ahead of USM’s trip to Tallahassee, Florida on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. CT.

The Golden Eagles recognize the great challenge and opportunity in front of them.

First-year defensive coordinator Dan O’Brien is tasked with trying to slow down the Noles’ electric offense led by senior quarterback Jordan Travis, who tossed four touchdowns and ran for a fifth in Sunday’s win.

“It’s not easy,” O’Brien said. “You gotta find a way to not necessarily create negatives but you gotta keep them behind the sticks as much as you can. So you gotta get them on first and ten. You gotta find a way to get it to three yards or less on a run. You gotta get ‘em to second and long to where maybe it changes their mindset on what they want to do throwing or running the ball.

“Obviously the quarterback’s really elusive so we’ve got to find a way to keep him in the pocket. When we do pressure, we gotta be able to cover. We’ve gotta win our one-on-one’s on the outside like we already talked about with the receivers. They’re basketball players.”

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