Wow, It is two days later and I still cannot fathom the wrath of destruction that Southern Miss put upon Louisiana Tech. The way that they just completely dominated a team that had proven all season long to be among the elite of CUSA may have put Todd Monken's name into the notebooks of several athletic directors throughout the nation.
Records were broken and a CUSA championship game was set in a performance that could go down as one of the best in the storied history of Southern Miss.
Now let's take a look at the good, bad, and ugly of Southern Miss dropping 58 points on a shell shocked Louisiana Tech.
- Six Plays, 20 Points: With Louisiana Tech starting to find some momentum heading into the fourth quarter, all hell broke loose. A fumble by Kenneth Dixon resulted in a 57-yard touchdown run by Ito Smith. The next offensive play, Jeff Driskell was intercepted by Terrick Wright at the 39-yard line. One play later, another rushing touchdown by Smith. The next offensive play was another fumble, followed immediately by another Smith touchdown run.
- Ito Smith: In addition to scoring on runs of 57, 17, and 11 yards on three consecutive rushes, Smith led the team with 169 yards on 22 carries. The sophomore is 17 yards away from a 1,000 yard season, a feat that would give Southern Miss two 1,000 yard rushers in the same season for the first time since the early 1980s. Smith has proven to be one of the most electric players in the nation with his ability to take a pass, a kick, a handoff, a pitch, or anything else you can think of to the house.
- Mullens Being Mullens: Another week, another 300+ yard passing game for the junior quarterback Nick Mullens. The three-year starter is up to 3,964 yards passing and 35 touchdowns on the year. He is the FBS' sixth leading passer and also sixth in the nation in touchdown passes for a Golden Eagles team that has scored 500 points on the year.
- Rush Defense: I knew the stats were good, but seriously? Kenneth Dixon was held to -4 yards on the ground on five carries. The longest rush allowed all game long was nine yards. Louisiana Tech rushed for -2 yards on the day as a team. That is complete and total domination from the Golden Eagles.
- Michael Thomas: Did you see that? How did he make that catch? By the way, he only had a career high seven catches for 162 yards in the win over Louisiana Tech.
- Ummm, I got nothing.
- 20-0 Run: It was like a basketball game when a team gets on a monster run and there is nothing the other team can do except wait for it to end. Southern Miss went from up 31-17 to up 51-17 in 45 seconds of game action. Absolute insanity.
Play of the Game:
- The Kenneth Dixon Fumble: Dixon's fumble, recovered by Terrick Wright started the Southern Miss avalanche that propelled them into the CUSA title game.
- On to the Conference USA title game in Bowling Green, Kentucky to face the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky. Kickoff is scheduled for 11:00 AM CST.