HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — Jaylond Adams returned the opening kickoff 89 yards for a score to help Southern Mississippi jump to an early lead and beat Alcorn State 38-10 on Saturday in a season opener.
Adams, who sat out most of the 2018 season due to an injury, also scored on an 80-yard punt return early in the fourth quarter. Jack Abraham threw for 293 yards and a touchdown for the Golden Eagles. He also ran for a score.
The Golden Eagles held Alcorn State to just 56 yards offense in the first half. As the Braves' offense stalled, Andrew Stein added to Southern Mississippi's early 7-0 edge with a pair of field goals, from 20 and 19 yards, to make it 13-0 at halftime.
The Braves opened the second half with a 15-yard scoring dash by De'Shawn Waller to close to 13-7. But Abraham answered for the Golden Eagles on the next drive, throwing a 55-yard strike to Neil McLaurin for a 21-7 lead with 8:26 remaining in the third. Adams' fourth-quarter punt return for a score sealed the win for Southern Mississippi.
Noah Johnson threw for 143 yards for the Braves. Waller finished with 51 rushing yards.