2015-16 Football Previews – (C-USA) – Golden Eagles
It wasn’t too long ago that Southern Mississippi was the talk of the nation. In 2011, they finished 12-2 and won Conference USA. They’ve been ranked in the top 15 before, and it was looking like the program was turning a very good corner.
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Conference USA 2015-2016 College Football Preview – Golden Eagles
Head Coach: Todd Monken
2014 Record: 3-9
Southern Mississippi Odds to win Conference USA: 60/1
However, the past three years have been nothing but a mess for the Golden Eagles. In the past three seasons, the Golden Eagles have gone a combined 4-30.
It’s tough to imagine things being any better for Southern Mississippi as they rebuilt their whole defense and simply do not have any kind of firepower to compete with the top tier in the conference.
If Southern Mississippi was looking for any type of momentum to carry over from last season, they should probably look else where.
The Golden Eagles dropped their last five games and were trounced in just about every one of those games.
Can Mississippi State turn things around? Or will this be just another long, struggle of a season for them and their fans?
Nick Mullens: The Junior QB has proven himself worthy in his first two seasons at Southern Mississippi. It’s always tough for QBs to develop and feel comfortable within a run first offense.
Mullens threw for 2470 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2014.
When Mullens was put up against the weaker opponents of the Golden Eagles’ schedule, he performed exceptionally well. In the middle portion of their schedule, Mullens threw for 1282 yards in a 4 game span with 8 touchdowns.
Mullens was the pure definition of “working with what you got.” He didn’t have a star receiver, didn’t have much of a backfield to work with, but he made the players around him better.
Running Back Depth: Lack of depth is not a problem in terms of RB for the Golden Eagles. They have 4 returning running backs, an incoming freshman, and a QB in Mullens that can run. It’s clear why they’re a run first offense, but finding a real solidified No. 1 RB is a major key for Southern Miss.
Points For/Points Against: Southern Miss had horrible numbers in 2014. Last season, Southern Mississippi averaged just 19.0 points per game (117) and allowed 35.4 (111). Yikes! With those two numbers, it’s shocking Southern Miss actually won 3 games last season. It’s obvious they need to bring these numbers much closer together if they hope to compete within C-USA.
No Big Playmakers: It’s been said numerous times, but Conference USA is a purely dominant offensive conference. We’ve seen teams get into 50 or 60 point shootouts.
Southern Miss had just 42 rushes of 10+ yards and 1 rush over 40 yards. When that is your go to offense, thats not a good stat.
2015-2016 Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles Prediction: 3-9
Southern Mississippi will improve, but still, they just don’t have enough firepower to compete with the class of the conference.
They’re certainly moving in the right direction as far as getting the pieces to compete. They have a QB who is developing and becoming a leader. Finding a RB who can be a game changer in the backfield is their next step. If they can find that this season, things will be a lot different in the coming seasons.
2015 Southern Mississippi Schedule
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