South Alabama (8-2; 5-1 Sun Belt) at Southern Miss (5-5; 3-3 Sun Belt)
November 19th, 2022, 2:30 PM CT
M.M. Roberts Stadium, Hattiesburg, MS
Weather – Cloudy, few sprinkles, 49 degrees
South Alabama 27 – Southern Miss 20
This game ended up being a very exciting back and forth affair. South Alabama was still competing for a division crown (ultimately won by Troy) and Southern Miss was having a much better than expected season.
The Jaguars got the scoring started on their first drive with a field goal. Southern Miss answered back late in the quarter with the first touchdown of the day to go up 7-3. The first part of the second quarter was scoreless but things picked up. First with a Golden Eagles field goal, then with a touchdown by South Alabama to tie things up at ten. South Alabama tacked on a field goal as time expired to go into the half up 13-10.
The only score in the third quarter was a touchdown pass from Frank Gore Jr. to Jason Brownlee and Southern Miss retook the lead going into the fourth. South Alabama took the lead back early in the fourth and then it was a matter of holding on. South Alabama scored another touchdown to pull away 27-17. This made the last second field goal by Southern Miss just window dressing.
Final: South Alabama 27 – Southern Miss 20
M.M. Roberts stadium is an older stadium that was originally open in 1932. A lot of wear and tear can still be seen today.
It is a double decker seater on the two sidelines. The North side of the stadium houses an athletic center and had a medium-sized scoreboard as well. The South side is the newer addition that housed a set of suites. There was also a patio above the suites as well. The upper deck seats were very steep and there were small runner boards between the two decks that were about 20 yards in length.
There were not very many people at the game, maybe because of how chilly it was. The upper deck on the visitor’s side was virtually empty. A few sprinkles came in before the game started but not enough to ruin the atmosphere.
For concessions, there were just the normal stands. One interesting item was that they advertised combos, but there were no actual discounts on the combo compared to buying the individual items. There were a couple funnel cake stands and one Chick-fil-a stand in the South end zone.
Hot dog – $5.00
Souvenir Soda – $7.00
Beer – $8.00
Other Sporting Event
Women’s Basketball – North Alabama (2-1) vs. Southern Miss (1-2)
Southern Miss basketball is played at the Reed Green Coliseum on the north side of campus. It is a smaller stadium with a one tier oval setting. There were two small video boards, one on each end. On the north side there were black-and-gold-colored individual seats while the rest of the seating were wooden benches.
This was definitely not a popular thing to do on a Friday night as there were only 100-200 people in the stands. It ended up being a pretty decent game though. The first half went back and forth and North Alabama had a 38-35 lead.
The third quarter was dominated by the Golden Eagles as they outscored the Lions by 13 led by Domonique Davis. She finished the game with 25 points and Southern Miss held on down the stretch to win the game by 5.
Final: Southern Miss 72 – North Alabama 67
Southern Miss had a fairly large campus. The first thing you see as you drive into the campus is the large dome of the administration building. This is the crown jewel of the campus as the school logo also shows the dome. With the fountain in front, it was a great view for visitors on campus.
There was also a huge rose garden at the front of the campus. It was not in bloom at the time, but between the garden and the nearby pond it led to another picturesque area. There was also a really old tree on campus that had branches that crossed over the sidewalk in another interesting location.
Overall, I was very impressed with the campus. It was definitely one of the nicest non-power five campuses that I have visited in my journeys so far.
It was a chilly day when I visited the Hattiesburg Zoo, so didn’t know how many animals would be out when I was there. Likely because of the cold, there were only a few other visitors there at the time.
It was definitely a smaller zoo. The main attraction they touted was the giraffes, but they were not outside when I visited. There were quite a few other animals out and about though. The highlights for me were the black jaguar and the giant anteater.
Outside of the animals, there were also some other attractions at the zoo to attract people. The biggest one was a high ropes course that was open during the weekends. They also had a splash pad that was open during the summer to help cool kids off. I like the idea of these additional events for smaller zoos like this to give parents and kids more options.
There were not a lot of places to visit in the city of Hattiesburg, but plenty of positive reviews for Lucky Rabbit. It was described as a vintage shop that is only open on weekends. I don’t really consider myself a shopper, but thought I would give it a try just to see what they had to offer.
I was pleasantly surprised. It was much larger than I anticipated it being. They had so much vintage stuff around just for decoration. Some of the items that brought back a lot of memories were a couple McDonald’s playground pieces from the ‘80s and some older arcade games. They also had all of their Christmas decorations up for the year so there were plenty of trees and Christmas music abound.
The story sold a lot of vintage books, tapes, and even furniture. On top of that, they sold a lot of hard-to-find candy and sodas as well. You would just take what you wanted to buy up front to a cashier no matter which part of the store you got the item from.
It looks like they change things up within the store fairly often so this would easily be a place you could visit on a regular basis to always find something new. It was definitely a fun experience for a couple hours during my trip.
Mississippi State Capitol – Jackson
This season I was able to visit four different state capitols in Kansas, Nebraska, Virginia, and Mississippi. Of all those, the Mississippi capitol was easily the prettiest to visit, especially inside of the building. It is probably the second nicest capitol I’ve been to behind the Iowa capitol in Des Moines.
The capitol originally housed all three branches of the government. Today, the State Supreme Court has moved to a building across the street and the Governor’s office is just a part-time office.
The first thing you see is the dome which is adorned with a beautiful eagle and other ornaments. There were doing a lot of construction on the outside so was not able to get around to the South side of the building easily.
On the inside, this was a capitol where no detail was overlooked. There was marble throughout and even the old water fountains were still kept up to date. The Senate room was closed to the public but I was able to go into the gallery of the House and it was as beautiful as the rest of the building.
Mississippi Aquarium – Gulfport
The Mississippi aquarium is located just across the street from the gulf coast and features a great view of the beach.
As a venue, the aquarium was very up to date and clean, but it was fairly small. The main outdoor attractions were a dolphin enclosure and an otter exhibit. They also had a moderate sized aviary with a wide variety of birds.
There was one main indoor building had three floors of various marine life. You started from the third floor and moved back down. The top floor featured a large touch pool with a lot of various stingrays you could reach in and touch. As you moved down there was a large tank that you walked underneath that feature several large sharks and various turtles and other fish.
The main thing that needs to be improved here are the timings between the various live events. There was 45 minutes between the otter talk and the dolphin show. If there were more things to do at the aquarium that would be good timing. But, with it being such a small aquarium it led to a lot of sitting around between the two shows.
Mississippi Coast Model Train Museum – Gulfport
I was looking for a way to spend a little time after visiting the aquarium and before heading to lunch. I saw this model train museum and decided to give it a look.
This was actually a pretty large museum. They had a main building with a couple large model train tracks actively running. But then you were able to go outside where they had close to a dozen more of all shapes and types. They even had a second building with more trains and tracks.
That said, it did seem to be much more aimed at kids than at real train enthusiasts. Outside of the two tracks inside the main building the remaining sets had various themes like space or Legos. In fact, it appears there was actually a young child’s birthday party going on at the time I visited.
Overall, if you have kids this would be a cool stop, otherwise it is probably not worth your time.
Gratefull Soul (yes, it is spelled correctly) is a small, family-owned restaurant in downtown Hattiesburg. The interesting thing about this restaurant is they only have two or three entrees a day and they rotate every day.
On this day, the choices were meatloaf and herb-roasted chicken. Of course, I went the meatloaf. The sides of choice were mashed potatoes and carrots.
The meatloaf was very good and moist. They did put a lot of ketchup on top, probably more than I would have wanted. But it didn’t take away from the overall flavor. The mashed potatoes and carrots were also good making this a very good, balanced meal.
This would be a good place to visit more often if you lived in the area. The family that worked there was very nice as well. Be sure to check out their Facebook page before you go to check their menu for the day before you go.
Mario’s is an Italian restaurant that seemed like a pretty popular place. I do believe it is newly opened, or at least newly opened in its current location. It was a large restaurant, but I will say the décor left something to be desired. The tables and chairs all looked to be fairly cheap.
Luckily the food was pretty tasty. I went with the chicken Parmesan, which is one of my usual favorites. The unique thing about the dish at Mario’s was that it was served with angel hair pasta instead of spaghetti. You could have ordered it with spaghetti noodles, but decided to try it with the angel hair to try something different.
I think it was a good choice. First, the chicken parm was large and covered with plenty of cheese. The angel hair was also cooked well and added a little more contrast to the chicken breast.
The other popular thing at Mario’s was the garlic bread. It had a strong garlic taste, which is what I like from bread at an Italian restaurant. It was good enough that I had an extra piece brought out to me.
Tom’s Fried Pies – Richland
Tom’s Fried Pies is a small local shop in a strip mall in Richland, Mississippi. As the name reads, their focus is on a variety of handheld pies, both savory and sweet.
I decided to go with two different pies, one savory and one sweet. The first one was a Roagie, which was filed with beef, shredded potatoes, mushrooms and cheese. The flavors were decent but it didn’t seem as filled as it should have been.
The second pie was a sweet potato pie. That one was filled better and had a lot of flavor. Finally, I tried a side of potato salad. It was also pretty good but had pieces of bacon in it. That crispy bacon seemed off with the rest of the ingredients.
Half Shell Oyster House – Gulfport
I am not a big seafood eater, but the Half Shell Oyster House is an extremely popular restaurant and a place I wanted to try while I was in Gulfport. I went just after the lunch peak and the place was still fairly crowded.
The lunch menu was pretty extensive and I wanted to try something that I know I had never tried before. With that in mind, I decided on the Orleans shrimp and grits. It had been a while, likely my trip to Hawaii, that I had anything with shrimp. Plus, I do not recall ever having grits before. It was served with a smoky Cajun sauce.
The shrimp were a good texture and the grits were pretty decent as well. What made the dish though was definitely the sauce. It had a ton of flavor and just a little bit of kick on top of it.
The side I ordered it with was a sweet potato soufflé. It had a good amount of cinnamon and butter on top. I could have done without the extra butter, but the rest of the dish was very good and worth the extra dollar for being a premium side.