The University of Southern Mississippi offers a degree in engineering, including a specialty in construction engineering. We’re certain the discipline includes required reading on drainage control.
If the department head is hard up for some practical applications, he or she need look no further than across campus, to M. M. Roberts Field. The swampy conditions in and around the stadium during the game were an embarrassment for the football program, the school and the community.
Maybe USM likes things the way they are, among the worst possible in college football, with the playing field resembling an puddle-soaked island surrounded by rising water along the sidelines. The sloppy conditions did provide a winless Southern Miss with the ability to slow down Teddy Bridgewater in the 21-17 loss to the University of Louisville.
Before the steady rain turned into a downpour, Bridgewater was making it look easy, connecting on five of five passing attempts on 68-yard scoring drive, capped by a 29-yard touchdown pass to Devante Parker.
The clouds would burst, John Wallace would miss an extra point attempt, and the struggle was on, punctuated by a Reggie Hunt interception of a Bridgewater pass for 20-yard USM touchdown. Momentum had turned and USM would own it until the fourth quarter.
Bridgewater would attempt only seven more passes in the game, connecting on only four of them, disarming Louisville of its most reliable offensive threat. There would be few gambles with rain-soaked footballs after the earlier miscue.
Not to worry because Senorise Perry may have been coming of age during the rain storm, at one point plowing and pushing five yards through the USM defense after what appeared to be a sure stop. He was separating himself from the pack, picking the team up, carrying it on his shoulders on that final fourth-quarter drive, splashing 14 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. Perry would wind up with 118 yards rushing.
That’s not to meant to say that Jeremy Wright was not effective, because he was, picking up 84 yards on the night. Wright and Perry had to come through and they did.
Enough of a challenge for a young Louisville team not to overly celebrate a 5-0 won-lost record, keeping young impressionable egos in check before conference play begins in earnest in two weeks.
Whether the Southern Miss engineers will do anything about the badly designed drainage system of their football stadium is a question better left unanswered.