HATTIESBURG – Southern Miss redshirt sophomore Quez Watkins (Athens, Ala.) collected the first Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Week award Monday by the league office.
Watkins returned a punt 81 yards for a touchdown for one of four scores for the Golden Eagles on the day.
In addition, Watkins tallied a career-high 138 yards on eight catches with three touchdown receptions (28, 22, 24) as he was the first Golden Eagle receiver to collect three touchdown catches since Allenzae Staggers did it against Rice on Oct. 1, 2016. The game marked Watkins second career 100-yard receiving game of his career. His other came in the season opener last year against Kentucky when he notched 103 reception yards.
His punt return also marked the first for a touchdown since Staggers returned a boot 75 yards in 2016 against Savannah State (Sept. 10).
Watkins finished the day with 241 all-purpose yards – the most since Ito Smith tallied 254 against ULM last season. He also finished with 103 yards on three punt returns.
The Golden Eagles (1-0) return to action this week when they entertain ULM (1-0) at M.M. Roberts Stadium this Saturday, Sept. 8, at 6 p.m. The game can be seen on ESPN3, as well as heard on one of the affiliates on the Southern Miss IMG Sports Network.