This weekend on Saturday the Southern Miss football team (0-4) will host the Florida International Golden Panthers (0-4). The Golden Eagles will be returning home on Saturday. Oct. 5 to take on the Panthers at M.M. Roberts Staduim.
The winless Eagles are currently on a 16 game losing streak. With both teams winless, this game ensures that one of the teams will get their first victory of the season.
This is the first home game in a month for the Golden Eagles. In the home opener Aug. 30, the Texas State Bobcats stole a victory from Southern.
For the Golden Eagles this marks the start of a new season. This game is the conference opener. The coaching staff has the team going into this game with a clean slate. On Sept. 30 in his press conference head coach Todd Monken said the number one goal was to win the conference. Winning would take care of everything but getting off on the right foot in conference play could turn this season around for the Golden Eagles.
The Panthers are averaging 5.8 points per game, which is 123rd in the FBS; in other words they are dead last. In total offense, they are ranked last as well. While they have struggled this season, the Panthers still have a very dangerous skill player at wide receiver. T.J. Lowder, the sophomore wideout had 125 receiving yards and a touchdown versus Bethune-Cookman.
On the defensive side of the ball for FIU, the defense has allowed an average of almost 47 points a game. Against the pass, the Panthers are in the middle of the pack; not too good and not too bad. Senior defensive tackle Greg Hickman has been disruptive in each of their games, he ranks third in tackles on the team.
In order for the Eagles to take advantage of this opportunity in front of them they will need to protect the ball. Quarterback Allan Bridgford will need to take care of the football this week. Bridgford needs to maximize his touchdown numbers and minimize his interception numbers.
Of the games played to this point, the Eagles’ rushing game could be the most effective it will be all season as the Panthers rank near the bottom of the nation in rush defense. The Golden Eagles defense should not be too worried if the game was based on stats, as FIU has produced only 600 total yards of offense through four games this season.
I predict a victory this Saturday for the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, if the home team can execute and hold onto the ball. The offense should have pretty close to its best game of the year, while the defense should not have a problem handling the FIU offense. I like their chances but if Southern Miss continues to give the ball away and help the opponents there is no way they can come away with a victory. This game could shape the remainder of the season.
This Saturday’s game will be televised on CSS. The game is scheduled to start at 3 pm.