HATTIESBURG — UAB rallied in the second half for a 27-19 victory over Southern Miss tonight at M.M. Roberts Stadium to keep the Golden Eagles winless at 0-9
First-year USM head coach Ellis Johnson was left to explain another loss to an increasingly impatient fan base.
Johnson listed numerous injuries that his offense hasn't been able to overcome, including the quarterback position.
"All that is hard to overcome," Johnson said. "That being said, you can't dismiss fact that I don't think they're a well-coached football team. I've got to look at that and say why not?"
Alford likely had his worst passing effort yet, completing just 10 of 26 passes for 112 yards and one interception.
"We didn't have anybody to turn to as a leader," Johnson said of his situation at quarterback. "We haven't had a leader there because nobody's been able to play there and play every week and play well. At times, we didn't play well around them. It's not all their fault."
Johnson admitted it's a tough environment in the locker room at this point.
"It's tough," Johnson said. "They're just down. There have been games where we've come in and been mad. Then there's been games where they've come in and it's been almost like they've floored. I think right now they're just drained. They really felt like it was a ball game they could have won."
The weekly speeches have become more difficult for Johnson and the players.
"It's just hard," Johnson said. "I'm running out of things to tell the players as far as what to do to fix it. We've just got to keep coming back, correcting things and practicing hard and keep grinding.
"We're not a great team to start with. I think just at times we've been our own worst enemy. Probably, for some of the guys, it's become a confidence thing. It's very tough in a transitional year when you only win a couple. When you don't win, it's a very hard on players and I understand how difficult it has been on them."