North Texas continued their struggle to find a quarterback this week in a 49-14 loss to Southern Mississippi. After a missed field goal on their first drive, the Mean Green failed to get anything going until the fourth quarter. While the Mean Green struggled to find a rhythm, Southern Mississippi seemed to score at will, leading to a blowout victory.
For Southern Miss it was the Nick Mullens and Mike Thomas show all night. Mullens finished the night with four touchdowns and 325 yards. Mike Thomas was the recipient of three of those touchdowns while picking up 155 yards as well. Although the game was not riddled with turnovers, the sole USM forced turnover came on an important interception in the end zone after an impressive North Texas drive. The Golden Eagles add another impressive victory to their resume after a close loss to Nebraska last week.
North Texas, on the other hand, adds another blowout to its record and remains in search of their first win. Both touchdowns for the Mean Green came in the fourth quarter. The first a pass from Andrew McNulty to Carlos Harris. The second a run by sophomore running back Willy Ivery.
Aside from the touchdowns, both the offense and defense (throw special teams in there too), seemed outmatched by USM for the entire game. The main discussion point for the offense throughout the week will be the play of quarterback DaMarcus Smith. After weeks of fans asking to see the junior college transfer take the field, Smith finally got substantial play time. Despite the expectations, Smith only finished the game 3 for 11 with 70 yards.
With a Rice loss to Western Kentucky today, the chances for Southern Mississippi to compete in the West are alive and well. At the moment, Louisiana Tech seems to comfortably hold the title of best in the west. However, after a couple more wins like tonight, the Golden Eagles could find themselves in very good position to play for a Conference USA title.