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Southern Miss 65, Rice 10: The Golden Eagle Fly High In Dominant Win

On a night that saw the Golden Eagles throw for 501 yards and outgain Rice 682 to 214, Southern Miss moved one game closer to a season ending showdown with Louisiana Tech for the CUSA West Division Title.

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Looking to avenge an 18-point loss in 2014, the Southern Miss Golden Eagles throttled the Rice Owls 65-10 Saturday night in Houston.

The win over Rice was the most lopsided win for the Golden Eagles over an FBS foe since a 70-14 win over UAB in 2008.

Nick Mullens was the star of the day and also in the first scoring drive for the Golden Eagles, passing 3-3 for 48 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown pass went to running back Ito Smith from 28 yards to give Southern Miss a 7-0 lead.

After being forced to punt on their next drive, Southern Miss got back on track offensively with a 10-play drive that covered 52 yards. Facing a fourth and goal from the Rice six, field goal holder Tyler Sarrazin was a part of a touchdown for the second straight game. This time he delivered a six-yard pass to Xavier Thigpen to give the Golden Eagles a 14-0 lead.

From then on, it was a show of force from Southern Miss in scoring on each of their final four drives of the first half. A three-play, 51-yard touchdown drive saw Mullens hit Michael Thomas from 50 yards to extend the lead to 21-0. A two-play drive found Thomas from 51 yards to make it 28-0. A 13-yard pass to DJ Thompson for a touchdown extended the lead to 35-0. Finally, Mullens ended the first half with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Smith that gave the running back his second receiving touchdown of the game.

All the while, the Golden Eagles defense held Rice to a minuscule 58 total yards of offense in route to a 42-0 halftime advantage.

As if scoring in five straight first half possessions wasn't enough, Southern Miss added to their lead on each of the first four offensive series of the second half. A 60-yard rushing touchdown by Jalen Richard, his first of the day, made it 49-0. The Golden Eagles were only able to manage a field goal from 39 yards out by Stephen Brauchle to break the 50 point barrier at 52-0.

Tyler Matthews finally got his shot behind center and led them 79 yard for a touchdown. Matthews called his own number on the touchdown, a 17-yard run to make it 58-0 in favor of Southern Miss. The PAT was blocked.

Rice did get on the board following a muffed punt, getting three points on a Hayden Tobola 33-yard field goal to cut the Southern Miss lead to 58-3.

In his second series, Matthews drove the Golden Eagles another 75 yards in four plays, with Jarell Aaron catching a 47-yard touchdown pass to make the score 65-3 in favor of Southern Miss.

Rice added a garbage time touchdown to make the final score look slightly better. When the final horn sounded, Southern Miss were 65-10 victors over Rice.

With the win, Southern Miss improved to 7-3 on the season with a visit from Old Dominion and a trip to Louisiana Tech that could end up being for the CUSA West Division title left on the schedule.