Knowing the Enemy 2016
Record 4-2, 2-1 in conference play
The rested Purple and Gold will host Southern Mississippi this weekend. The Golden Eagles have not beaten a team with a winning record during the 2016 season.
Last week Southern Miss lost to Texas-San Antonio 55-32 as they gave up 28 first quarter points.
Southern Mississippi is seventh in the nation in total offense. They average 532.8 yard per game on offense. The Golden Eagles score 40.2 per game. They allow 27 points per game. These stats were built playing juggernauts like Rice and Texas El-Paso. They do have a road victory over Kentucky.
The quarterback for the Eagles is senior Nick Mullens, who has thrown for 1874 yards this season, which is seventh in the country. Mullens has thrown 16 touchdowns this year, but he has also pitched eight interceptions. His eight picks are the highest of the top 20 passers in the country. He averages 15.2 yards per completion, eighth in the nation.
One of his favorite targets is junior Allenzae Staggers, who has 23 receptions for 562 yards for the campaign. Staggers had a 292 yard reception game against Rice with three touchdowns.
Junior Ito Smith is the second leading rusher in Conference USA, averaging 118 yards per contest through six games. Smith rushed for 173 yards against Kentucky.
The right side of the Eagle offensive line is junior guard Devin Farrior and freshman tackle Ty Pollard. The center is senior Cameron Tom, a Baton Rouge native. Southern Miss has not committed on the starters of left side of the line.
On the defensive side, Southern Miss leads their conference in team sacks. Senior nose tackle Dylan Bradley leads the team in sacks with five. Bradley also leads the team in tackles with 39, 22 unassisted. Free safety D’Nerius Antoine is the second leader tackler on the squad. Antoine has 36 total tackles with 25 solos.
The Eagles play three down linemen with three linebackers and a rover back, a cross between a linebacker and defensive back.
On paper Southern Mississippi does not pose a threat to the Purple and Gold. But, as the old saying goes, that is why you play the games on the field, not on paper.
Game two of the Ed Orgeron era is Saturday night.
Southern Miss mascot: