Quez Watkins

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Tulane blows past Southern Miss in Armed Forces Bowl

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Two drives in, it appeared we had a blowout on our hands at the Armed Forces Bowl. We did, just not in the direction it appeared at the time.

Southern Miss jumped out to a 13-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the game on two Jack Abraham touchdowns, a 44-yard strike to Quez Watkins and a 3-yard rush.

Over the final 50 minutes, though, Tulane ran off 30 unanswered points to score a 30-13 win.

The win moves Tulane to 7-6 on the season and gives the Green Wave bowl wins in consecutive seasons for the first time in the program’s 127-year history.

The comeback was slow moving. After gaining just 75 yards in the first half and scoring only on two 31-yard Merek Glover field goals, the Tulane offense caught fire in the third quarter behind the arm of Justin McMillan.

The Wave took the ball to open the second half and rolled 77 yards in five plays, scoring on a 52-yard strike to Oklahoma State transfer Jalen McCleskey. (That drive nearly perfectly mirrored Southern Miss’s drive to open the game.)

After a third Glover field goal put Tulane in the lead, the Wave defense broke the game open when Larry Brooks intercepted a pass and, combined with his return, an unsportsmanlike conduct flag gave Tulane the ball at the Southern Miss 2-yard line. After a false start, McMillan pushed Tulane’s lead to 23-13 with a 7-yard strike to Jacob Robertson, Jr.

McMillan then all but ended the game at the 1:54 mark of the third quarter when he fired his third touchdown pass of the frame, a 20-yard lob to a wide open Amare Jones.

After starting slowly, McMillan earned player of the game honors for hitting 13-of-18 passes for 215 yards and three scores. He also rushed 15 times for 39 yards.

A key moment in Tulane’s comeback, though, had very little to do with Tulane.

Abraham injured his shoulder on his final pass of the first half and did not return; he finished the game 17-of-23 for 167 yards with a touchdown. With Abraham out, backup Tate Whatley played the entire second half and simply was not ready for that level of exposure. The sophomore went 9-of-22 for 134 yards with two interceptions.

Neither quarterback got much help from the running game, as the Eagles (7-6) finished with 58 yards on 23 carries.

After gaining 139 yards on 19 plays over their first two drives, Southern Miss’ remaining 49 snaps gained just 220 yards and resulted in zero points. Tulane’s offense, meanwhile, gained 304 yards in the second half.

Southern Miss leading Tulane halfway through Armed Forces Bowl

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At the half in the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Southern Miss holds a 13-6 lead over Tulane.

The Eagles rolled down the field on their first two drives of the game. Accepting the ball to open the game, USM knifed 61 yards in eight plays, the last 44 coming on a touchdown toss to Quez Watkins from Jack Abraham.

After its defense forced a three-and-out, Southern Miss then moved 78 yards in 11 snaps, as Abraham’s 3-yard keeper and Andrew Stein‘s successful PAT gave the Eagles a 13-0 lead at the 5:23 mark of the first quarter.

Over the half’s remaining 20 minutes, though, it was a different game.

USM posted three three-and-outs, one five-and-out, and a turnover on downs in which the Eagles took the ball at their own 39 but were unable to gain a first down, handing the ball back to Tulane at its own 48 when Abraham was stuffed on 4th-and-1.

Tulane, though, mounted just two Merek Glover field goals, both from 31 yards, and posted its own four-and-out after taking over near midfield with three minutes left in the half.

The Green Wave gained 75 yards and achieved five first downs in the half.

Marshall posts a league-high eight First Team All-Conference USA selections

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Florida Atlantic won the conference, but Marshall won the All-Conference USA team.

The Thundering Herd, who finished second to FAU in the East Division, placed eight players on the first team to FAU’s five. (However, three of the eight first-team Herd were specialists.)

The conference will not name individual awards until Wednesday, but here’s betting that Florida Atlantic will have the winner there. Sophomore quarterback Chris Robison threw for nearly 3,400 yards and 26 touchdowns, while tight end Harrison Bryant led all FBS tight ends with 61 grabs and 1,004 yards while scoring seven touchdowns.

Western Kentucky came in third with four first-team selections.


OFFENSE

QB- Chris Robison, R-So., Florida Atlantic
QB- J’Mar Smith, R-Sr., Louisiana Tech
RB- Benny LeMay, Sr., Charlotte
RB- Brenden Knox, R-So., Marshall
OL- Cameron Clark, R-Sr., Charlotte
OL- Junior Diaz, Gr., Florida Atlantic
OL- Brandon Walton, Sr., Florida Atlantic
OL- Levi Brown, R-Sr., Marshall
OL- Miles Pate, R-Sr., WKU
TE- Harrison Bryant, Sr., Florida Atlantic
WR- Jaelon Darden, Jr., North Texas
WR- Quez Watkins, R-Jr., Southern Miss
WR- Lucky Jackson, R-Sr., WKU

DEFENSE
DT- Channing Hames, R-Sr., Marshall
DT- Garrett Marino, R-Sr., UAB
DE- Alex Highsmith, R-Sr., Charlotte
DE- DeAngelo Malone, Jr., WKU
LB- Tavante Beckett, R-Jr., Marshall
LB- Blaze Alldredge, Jr., Rice
LB- Kristopher Moll, Jr., UAB
DB- Meiko Dotson, R-Jr., Florida Atlantic
DB- Amik Robertson, Jr., Louisiana Tech
DB- Chris Jackson, Sr., Marshall
DB- DQ Thomas, Sr., Southern Miss

SPECIAL TEAMS
K- Justin Rohrwasser, R-Sr., Marshall
P- John Haggerty, Jr., WKU
KR- Jaylond Adams, R-So., Southern Miss
PR- Talik Keaton, Fr., Marshall
LS – Matt Beardall, Sr., Marshall

Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy headlines 2019 Biletnikoff Award Watch List

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Media Day season is also Watch List season and the latest to surface for the 2019 campaign comes out of Tallahassee in the form of the Biletnikoff Award Watch List. The award, given annually to the nation’s most outstanding receiver, includes the defending winner in Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy and fellow semifinalist Tylan Wallace out of Oklahoma State, as well as a number of other talented pass-catchers from around the country.

Here’s the full list, which is a good general overview of the best wide receivers and tight ends for the upcoming season even if a few names can gripe about being left off:

Lynn Bowden, Jr. (Kentucky)

Rico Bussey, Jr. (North Texas)

Cedric Byrd (Hawaii)

Grant Calcaterra (Oklahoma)

Damonte Coxie (Memphis)

Gabriel Davis (UCF)

Bryan Edwards (South Carolina)

D’Wayne Eskridge (Western Michigan)

Aaron Fuller (Washington)

Antonio Gandy-Golden (Liberty)

KJ Hamler (Penn State)

Adrian Hardy (Louisiana Tech)

Damon Hazelton (Virginia Tech)

Tee Higgins (Clemson)

K.J. Hill (Ohio State)

Isaiah Hodgins (Oregon State)

Justin Jefferson (LSU)

Jerry Jeudy (Alabama)

Tyler Johnson (Minnesota)

Collin Johnson (Texas)

CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma)

Ty Lee (Middle Tennessee State)

Kalija Lipscomb (Vanderbilt)

McLane Mannix (Texas Tech)

Kirk Merritt (Arkansas State)

Riley Miller (Ball State)

Denzel Mims (Baylor)

Darnell Mooney (Tulane)

Rondale Moore (Purdue)

Albert Okwuegbunam (Missouri)

K.J. Osborn (Miami)

Dezmon Patmon (Washington State)

Jared Pinkney (Vanderbilt)

Michael Pittman, Jr. (USC)

James Proche (SMU)

Jalen Reagor (TCU)

Jared Rice (Fresno State)

Sean Riley (Syracuse)

Reggie Roberson, Jr. (SMU)

Justyn Ross (Clemson)

Henry Ruggs III (Alabama)

Laviska Shenault, Jr. (Colorado)

JD Spielman (Nebraska)

Amon-Ra St. Brown (USC)

Marquez Stevenson (Houston)

Tamorrion Terry (Florida State)

Jaylen Waddle (Alabama)

Tylan Wallace (Oklahoma State)

JoJo Ward (Hawaii)

Quez Watkins (Southern Miss)