Golden Eagles Make First Stop on Three-Game Road Swing at Nebraska
Written by Jack Duggan, USM
HATTIESBURG, Miss. — The Southern Miss Football team faces quite a challenge over its next three contests, a series of road trips to some of the better-known programs in the nation. The first contest takes place Saturday at 5 p.m. in Lincoln, Neb., when the Golden Eagles visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network (Comcast in Hattiesburg – channel 472 in HD or 742; DIRECTV – channel 610-2 or 610-2 in HD; Dish Network – 5442 or 5443 in HD), with a radio broadcast set for the Southern Miss IMG Sports Network.
This will be the fifth meeting for the Golden Eagles and Cornhuskers and Nebraska holds a 3-1 all-time advantage. Southern Miss’ lone victory came in 2004 in Lincoln.
Last year, Nebraska defeated the Golden Eagles 49-20 in both team’s season opener.
Southern Miss enters the Week 2 contest on the heels of a tough, 22-15 loss to Texas State. Nebraska enters the contest having won its opening contest against Wyoming 37-34.
The game will feature a matchup between two units, the Southern Miss offense and Cornhusker defense, both looking to improve after opening-week hiccups.
The Golden Eagles offense struggled to produce on the ground, earning just 23 rushing yards, and turned the ball over five times, with a sixth turnover coming on special teams to mark the worst output by Southern Miss in that category since 2011.
The Nebraska defense, historically the unit upon which the Cornhuskers have hung their hats, allowed 603 total yards to Wyoming, 219 of which came on the ground.
Offensively, both teams got solid play from their quarterbacks.
Fourth-year starter Taylor Martinez was good for three touchdowns and 155 yards through the air for Nebraska. Allan Bridgford, who made his Golden Eagle debut last week, passed for 377 yards and one score.
The Cornhusker running attack had a better first-week showing that their Hattiesburg counterparts, racking up 375 yards with two 100-plus-yard rushers, Ameer Abdullah with 114 yards and Imani Cross with 105 yards and two touchdowns.
The Southern Miss defense was the strong suit in the Texas State game and will look to stymie the potent Nebraska offense led by the dual-threat Martinez.
In Week 1, the Golden Eagles defense held Texas State to just 207 yards and two touchdowns. The third Texas State score was a fumble return for a touchdown.
Senior linebackers Alan Howze and Dylan Reda paced the Golden Eagles with nine and eight tackles, respectively. Howze accounted for 2½ tackles for loss and Reda one tackle for loss.
Other defensive standouts for Southern Miss included a trio of defensive linemen, Khyri Thornton with six total tackles, Dasman McCullum with four tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery and Octavius Thomas with three tackles and the Golden Eagles’ lone sack.
Following the Nebraska game, Southern Miss will have road trips to Arkansas (Sept. 14) and Boise State (Sept. 28).