If the Southern Miss Golden Eagles have done anything right this season, it has been consistency. Southern Miss football has lost 17 games in a row with their last win coming in Dec. 2011. However, the student body has not turned its collective back on the team as they have struggled to cash in on a victory.
This Saturday, the Golden Eagles have an open week but next weekend, they will face the best team in the conference, the East Carolina Pirates. I am chalking this one as a loss. It hurts me to count out my school but I have to be a realist. USM has not shown me any signs of winning or a winning attitude.
The team runs into trouble when turnovers become a problem. The offense has thrown 12 interceptions. Senior quarterback Allan Bridgford has 11 alone. These interceptions often puts the defense in bind, forcing them to defend a shorter field, which makes it easy to put the finger at the defensive side of the ball.
Bridgford could help turn the season around. It is not too late to right the ship as conference play is just starting. In the new season, the Golden Eagles are 0-1, as they lost the conference opener to FIU, 24-23. The game came down to a 42-yard field goal attempt that was eventually blocked.
The defense will have their hands full as they face quarterback Steve Carden and wide receivers Justin Hardy and Lance Ray. Ray had a breakout game versus the North Carolina as he got into the end zone twice. Last week ECU defeated conference foe Middle Tennessee 22-17. ECU is very dangerous, as they have upset North Carolina already this season.
During this open week, the Golden Eagles need to work on themselves, work on timing and consistency on the offensive side. On the defensive side, the defense needs to just get healthy. On a side note, this week would not be bad idea to let younger guys get reps, which will help create depth at vital positions. If the Eagles continue to lose, at some point you have to look into playing freshmen Nick Mullens and Parker Adamson.
Southern Miss is not too far off from winning a game, they just shoot themselves in the foot with turnovers and lack of execution. You have to start thinking this losing streak is starting to wear on the minds of the players, especially those freshmen and sophomores, who came to Hattiesburg to turn the program around. The juniors and seniors remember the last win versus the Houston Cougars: they ruined conference USA’s chance to earn millions by preventing them from going to a BCS bowl.
To get back in the win column would be huge for the team as a whole. A win in any of the upcoming games would be an upset in the eyes of the fans.