Louisiana Tech went to Hattiesburg, MS and defeated Southern Miss tonight 31-20. Southern Miss quarterback Nick Mullens was knocked out of the game early on with a foot injury. It is unknown what the severity of the injury is. Senior Cole Weeks played the remainder of the game.
Despite Mullens being knocked out of the game early, Southern Miss scored first thanks to a 18 yard run by George Payne with 9:00 in the 1st quarter. The only other score in the 1st half was a Louisiana Tech 24 yard field goal from Kyle Fischer. It was a 7-3 Southern Miss lead at halftime.
The Bulldogs scored in the first minute of the second half after Cody Sokol threw a short pass to Kenneth Dixon that Dixon turned into a 84 yard touchdown reception. The score gave Louisiana Tech a 10-7 lead. Southern Miss later tied the game with 7:04 in the third quarter thanks to a 44 yard field goal from Corey Acosta.
Louisiana Tech began to pull away late in the third quarter as Cody Sokol threw another touchdown to Kenneth Dixon, giving the Bulldogs a 17-10 lead. Southern Miss did respond with another Acosta field goal to cut the LaTech lead to 4, but Sokol threw his third (and final) touchdown, a 29 yard strike to Carlos Henderson. That made it 24-13 LaTech with 7:01 left.
The final nail in the coffin for Southern Miss was when Kenneth Dixon scored on a 1 yard touchdown run, extending Louisiana Tech's lead to 18. Southern Miss did score again, on a Cole Weeks 18 yard pass to Michael Thomas with 2:53 remaining in the game but it was too little, too late for the Golden Eagles.
Cody Sokol led the Louisiana Tech offense, throwing for 423 yards and three touchdowns, despite struggling some in the first half. Cole Weeks from Southern Miss, the redshirt senior who was thrown in the fire following Nick Mullens' injury, completed 28 of 45 passes with one touchdown and two interceptions. He finished the game with 338 total yards passing.
Southern Miss is now 3-5 (1-3 in CUSA) and travels to UTEP next weekend for a Conference USA road matchup. Louisiana Tech improves to 5-3 and remains undefeated in Conference USA play with a 4-0 conference record. They will play Western Kentucky next week in Ruston and a win would give them a sixth win and bowl eligibility.