The Southern Miss Golden Eagles looked dominant from the very beginning in racing to a 32-10 homecoming win over UTSA. What looked good and what looked bad about the win over the Roadrunners?
Four 100+ Players: Running backs Jalen Richard (115) and Ito Smith (101) had 100+ yards rushing, while wide receivers D.J. Thompson (141), and Michael Thomas (103) had 100+ yards receiving. That is the first time in school history that two players rushed for 100+ and two players caught 100+ yards in the same game. Very impressive output.
Defensive Play: The Southern Miss defense has struggled at times this season, but the Golden Eagles held UTSA to only 205 total yards in the win. UTSA ended the night with only 12 total first downs and 66 yards in the air. Brian Anderson (6 tkl, 2 tfl, 2 sacks) and D’Nerius Antoine (6 tkl, 0.5 tfl) led the dominant group.
Field Goal Kicking: Steven Brauchle went 4-4 on field goal attempts with makes from 20, 22, 25, and 39 yards in the win. The kicker did miss one of his three PAT attempts, putting a bit of a damper on his performance. Even with the missed PAT, it was a good night for Brauchle with 14 points coming from his leg.
Transition Series Play: I consider a transition series a time when a team takes over after a turnover. The Golden Eagles turned the ball over four times and only gave up a field goal from the mistakes. While four turnovers are unacceptable, they are less deadly when the defense is playing as well as Southern Miss was playing Saturday night.
Turnovers: Three interceptions and a fumble lost. It is very rare that a team only gives up only three points from turnover despite turning the ball over four times. The Golden Eagles are lucky that their turnover issues did not ruin an otherwise excellent homecoming night.
Finishing Drives: Southern Miss saw drives stall at the UTSA eight-yard line, five-yard line, two-yard line, and 22-yard line. Finish two of those four drives with touchdowns and we are looking at a 34-0 or better third quarter lead. Leaving points on the field is how the Golden Eagles missed out on an upset versus Nebraska. They cannot afford to let that continue to happen.
Play Of The Game:
Nick Mullens to Michael Thomas for a 47-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Not even three minutes into the game, Mullens connected on his 16th touchdown pass of the season. That play showed UTSA's defense that it would be a long night in Hattiesburg.
The Golden Eagles head to Charlotte, North Carolina to face the FBS newbie Charlotte 49ers on Saturday for a noon kickoff. Southern Miss opened as a 16.5 point favorite in this game.