Keeping Score

USM notes: New turf, Florida game set, football update

While Jeff Hammond's departure as athletic director is still a hot topic of conversation, there are a handful of other Southern Miss developments to take note of:

* As i reported earlier this month, Southern Miss and Florida will play a mid-week baseball game in 2014.

On Tuesday, it was revealed that the game will be played on March 4.

The game will be played at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium, which is home to the Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos.

Southern Miss and Florida last played when the Golden Eagles beat the Gators in the 2009 Super Regional to advance to the College World Series.

* The new artificial turf is in the process of being installed at M.M. Roberts Stadium.

The field will feature the Southern Miss emblem at mid-field with "Golden Eagles" in both end zones.

The turf at Roberts Stadium had to be replaced following February tornado damage.

While significant damage was done to the southern portion of campus, it was a lucky break for the athletic department to receive insurance money to replace an aging playing surface.

* Senior defensive tackle Khyri Thornton and cornerback Deron Wilson were named to the Athlon Sports 2013 Pre-Season All-Conference USA First Team Defensive squad.

Thornton and Wilson will serve as the leaders on a defensive unit in desperate need of a rebound in 2013.

OTHER: I will have a feature in Saturday's paper on USM defensive end Jerry McCorvey.

The redshirt freshman, who is a Vancleave native, is trying to get into the rotation at the bandit position this fall.