Southern Miss has its starting quarterback back. How soon he’ll be back in the starting lineup, if at all, remains to be seen.
Friday, the football program announced that Kwadra Griggs “has been reinstated to the football team in good standing, effective immediately.” Aug. 11, USM announced that Griggs had been indefinitely suspended from the team pending the resolution of an unspecified student conduct matter.
“In accordance with student conduct matters, we will have no further statement,” yesterday’s statement added.
In 2017, Keon Howard started six games at quarterback for the Golden Eagles. Howard started the opener but was replaced by Griggs in the second half of that contest, with the latter going on to start the next three games before going down with a wrist injury. Howard started five straight in place of the injured Griggs, but then was replaced the last third of the season after Griggs got healthy.
Heading into his fifth-year senior season, Griggs had been penciled in — even Sharpie’d in — as USM’s starting quarterback. Instead, it’s been redshirt sophomore Jack Abraham holding the reins of the Golden Eagles’ offense because of the incumbent’s off-field issues.
Through two games, in which the Golden Eagles have gone 1-1, Abraham has completed over 71 percent of his passes for 620 yards and six touchdowns. Both of his interceptions on the season came in the 21-20 loss to Louisiana-Monroe in Week 2.
Last season, Griggs passed for 1,879 yards, 16 touchdowns — versus just a pair of picks — as he completed just over 56 percent of his 264 passes. He was also third on the team in rushing yards with 270; Abraham has accounted for — or unaccounted for as the case may be — minus-33 in his two starts.
Southern Miss is off this weekend ahead of its Week 4 matchup with Rice as its Week 3 game against Appalachian State was scuttled by the threat of Hurricane Florence. As Griggs hasn’t been permitted to practice with the team throughout what turned out to be a one-month suspension, it’s expected Abraham will get the start against the Owls.