SportsFootballJake Lange makes first collegiate start as Golden Eagles...

Jake Lange makes first collegiate start as Golden Eagles face UTEP

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Jake Lange will make his first start at quarterback as Southern Miss (1-4, 0-1 C-USA) hosts UTEP (4-1, 1-0 C-USA) Saturday at M.M. Roberts Stadium. Lange will be the third signal-caller this season, following injuries to Trey Lowe and Ty Keyes.

During the press conference after Tuesday’s practice, the common theme for Coach Will Hall is that nothing will be easy during this rebuild. The team faces the challenge of rebounding from a close loss last week to the Rice Owls.

“We played a team that we lost to 30 to [6] last year…We had four turnovers to zero and lost by five. [We} should’ve won the game.” Hall said he told the team. “It’s there, [but] we’ve just got to correct mistakes. We play hard, we love each other, but we’re not doing the things it takes to win.”

By: SM2 Reporter Dima Mixon

It will be no easy task to get back on track this week as the UTEP Miners come to town after taking down Old Dominion last week 28-21. 

From a statistical standpoint, the Miners hold an advantage in many categories. UTEP has the second-best total defense in the C-USA, while Southern Miss is ranked at fourth. The Miners average 25.8 points per game and give up 23.8 points per game, while Southern Miss scores 17.2 points per game and gives up 27.8 points per game. UTEP leads in total yards, passing offense, rushing offense, and passing defense. However, the Golden Eagles have the advantage in rushing defense.

“[They’re] 4-1. They’ve done a great job building that program…They’ve got a lot of successful coaches that have done a lot of great things, and they’ve got it going on right now,” Hall said about the Miners.

Lange showed promise in his first action against Rice, throwing 304 yards and a touchdown. His three interceptions aided to the Southern Miss loss, but Coach Hall believes in his quarterback.

“Jake was in the office until 3 [a.m.] when he got home [after the game]… If he falls short, it’s not gonna be because of any effort-related issue,” Hall said. “He had a few mistakes that we can clean up. Having a week of practice [geared towards Lange’s skillset] will allow him to hopefully have even more success.”

“I’m always competing against myself no matter what I do. It’s always against me,” Lange said. 

As Lange will be the quarterback for the foreseeable future, he has had to make an adjustment from his quick rise from scout team to the starter, but he said it’s nothing he can’t handle.

“The [practice] reps feel a little bit different…I’ve always watched film like this [and] I’ve always broken down defenses like this,” Lange said.

Homecoming festivities will take place throughout the day, including the Homecoming Parade at 1 p.m. Kickoff between UTEP and USM will be at 6 p.m. at The Rock.

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