November 28, 2020

Southern Miss adds two games to schedule, moves opener to Sept. 3

A lot of college football teams are canceling games and delaying the season. Southern Miss is doing the exact opposite.

Southern Miss announced Thursday that it has moved its 2020 season opener up two days, and added two home games to its schedule to replace games that were canceled last month.

Southern Miss will now open its season on Thursday, Sept. 3, against South Alabama. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. at M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg. This marks the first meeting in football between the schools.

In addition, the Golden Eagles added home games against Tennessee Tech on Sept. 19 and Tulane on Sept. 26. Both games kickoff at 6 p.m., and will replace canceled games against Jackson State and Auburn.

The Jackson State contest was canceled following the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s decision to not play any sports during the fall semester due to COVID-19. The Southeastern Conference switched its 2020 schedule to a league-only format.

The updated schedule now marks only the second time in school history that Southern Miss will have seven scheduled home games. The other was in 1920.

Southern Miss will also host Louisiana Tech on Sept. 12, Florida Atlantic on Oct. 10, Rice on Oct. 31, and UTSA on Nov. 21. Five of its first six games are in Hattiesburg.

Many conferences have reduced their schedules to league-only games or cut the number of non-conference games because of COVID-19 concerns. Based on Thursday’s announcement, Conference USA appears set to play a full 12-game schedule. The addition of Tennessee Tech and Tulane gives Southern Miss 12 games on its 2020 schedule — eight against C-USA opponents, and four outside the conference.

“We are excited to be able to add these games to our schedule and get to seven home games for student-athletes and season ticket holders,” Southern Miss Director of Athletics Jeremy McClain said. “This is obviously a very fluid situation, and we will continue to make adjustments that allow us the best opportunity to safely conduct a football season.”

McClain added that moving the opener to a Thursday will give Southern Miss officials a few extra days to assess COVID-19 concerns among players, as well as gameday procedures to help keep fans safe.

The Southern Miss Department of Athletics said in a statement that it will release details regarding ticketing and stadium protocols “soon.” It is selling season ticket packages, but COVID-19 guidelines set forth by the state of Mississippi could limit the number of fans that are allowed to attend games.

Southern Miss will use digital or mobile ticketing this season as its preferred option.

“The move to Thursday night to open the season allows us more time to address health and safety concerns inside the stadium and with our student-athletes between game one and game two,” McClain said. “Our focus will continue to be on monitoring the situation daily, and moving forward cautiously towards the start of the season.”

2020 SOUTHERN MISS SCHEDULE
All times TBA unless noted
Sept. 3…………South Alabama, 7 p.m.
Sept. 12………..*Louisiana Tech
Sept. 19………..Tennessee Tech, 6 p.m.
Sept. 26……….Tulane, 6 p.m.
Oct. 3………….*at North Texas
Oct. 10………..*Florida Atlantic
Oct. 17…………*at UTEP
Oct. 24…………at Liberty, 5 p.m.
Oct. 31…………*Rice
Nov. 7…………Open date
Nov. 14………… *at Western Kentucky
Nov. 21…………*UTSA
Nov. 28…………*at UAB
*Conference USA games