The Southern Miss Golden Eagles head into the 2015 season with three straight losing seasons but with a series of transfers, are putting all their eggs into the basket of making a bowl this fall. Southern Miss has two Power Five programs on the schedule in Mississippi State and Nebraska with Sun Belt foe Texas State and FCS opponent Austin Peay filling out the non-conference slate. Today, we will take a look at the first six games of the 2015 schedule.
Mississippi State: Starting the season at home versus an SEC program is a get get for the Golden Eagles this season. The combination of a Mississippi State looking to prove doubters wrong and a 9:00 PM CST starting time will be tough to overcome. The Bulldogs lots several key players to graduation but return quarterback Dak Prescott. If Southern Miss can hang in and keep the game fairly close, that is a great result.
Austin Peay: Coming off of a physical game versus Mississippi State to start the season and the cure for that is Austin Peay. The FCS Governors have won eight games in the last five years total. A blowout win should be in order for Southern Miss with lots of young players seeing game action.
Texas State: The first road game of the season pits Southern Miss with a very solid Sun Belt team in Texas State. The new and improved defense should hold its own versus the Bobcat rushing attack and I expect this game to come down to which team executes better in the fourth quarter. Texas State returns quarterback Tyler Jones for his junior season after a 2,600 yard season last fall.
Nebraska: While the Cornhuskers are breaking in a new head coach, they are still Nebraska with 9+ wins every season dating back to 2008. The Golden Eagles have lost four of five overall meetings between the programs with the only win coming in 2004. Don't expect win #2 to come this fall.
North Texas: Starting the conference schedule at home versus North Texas is about the draw for Southern Miss. The Mean Green are coming off of a 4-8 season and are expected to struggle this fall. This is the game that Southern Miss can show the rest of the conference they are no longer a pushover.
Marshall: Despite Marshall losing several important players including a starting quarterback and top wide receiver, the Thundering Herd still has quite a bit of talent on the roster. The Golden Eagles do not match up well versus Marshall and making the trip to West Virginia will make things even tougher for the upset.
Southern Miss should head into the second half of their schedule at no worse than 2-4 but a win over Texas State would put them at 3-3 and set them up perfectly for a 6-6 record and trip to a bowl game.