USM continues preparations for Appalachian State Tuesday


HATTIESBURG – The preparations for the Southern Miss football team Tuesday evening served two purposes.

First, the Golden Eagles were able to get in their normal Tuesday game week work as they gear up for a meeting with Appalachian State this Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium, which is also known as “The Rock” to Mountaineers fans, in Boone, North Carolina. Game time is slated for 3:30 p.m., ET/2:30 p.m. CT.

Appalachian State released the following statement Tuesday afternoon:

"As we move forward with hosting our first home football game of the season on Saturday, we are in close communication with Southern Miss Athletics, as well as the National Weather Service and our campus emergency management team, regarding the storm track of Hurricane Florence. Currently, we are still planning to host Southern Miss on time at 3:30 p.m. at The Rock on Saturday, Sept. 15. As we monitor Hurricane Florence, we will make the best decision possible for our campus, fans and visiting team. If any changes need to be made to the game schedule, we will communicate this to campus and ticket holders via the university website, email and local and regional media outlets."

While the Golden Eagles had to go later in the evening for their workout session due to lightning in the area, it secondly gave them the opportunity to allow the team to work out in the rain, thus getting them acclimated to the potential weather conditions for the team’s first road game of the season.

The rain may have cut down the practice time some for the Golden Eagles workout, but third-year coach Jay Hopson was still pleased with the team’s effort over the last two days, despite the looming possibility of not traveling north due to Hurricane Florence.

The storm, which currently has a hurricane warning and storm surge warning in effect from the South Santee River, South Carolina, northward to Duck, North Carolina, including the Albemarle and Pamlico sounds, is expected to hit along the Atlantic Coast sometime over the next few days and officials from both schools have been closely monitoring the storm.

All that the Golden Eagles can do at this point is to continue to get ready like a normal game week. 

“We are just doing our regular prep, so that’s all we can do right now,” said Hopson, whose team is 1-1 this season.

In fact, it is something Hopson has not brought up to the team at this point, wanting to keep the focus on this weekend’s opponent.

“It is something that we haven’t even talked about right now,” said Hopson. “We just have to keep preparing (to face Appalachian State).”

The Mountaineers are 1-1 on the season as well, as this weekend’s game is slated for their home opener.

Appalachian State has already canceled classes until after the weekend.

The fate of a few college football games has already been decided, too. East Carolina informed Virginia Tech it would not make the trip, Virginia moved its home game with Ohio to Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville and Boston College’s Thursday night trip to Wake Forest has been moved up two hours to 5:30 p.m. Other cancellations or postponements date include: Central Florida at North Carolina, West Virginia at N.C. State, Norfolk State at Liberty.

Including Southern Miss’ trip to Boone, there are numerous other games that have yet to be decided.