A Southern Miss Golden Eagles win versus the East Carolina Pirates it will be the first win in almost three years. ECU lost Saturday to the Tulane Green Wave, 36-33 in triple overtime. If this game told Southern Miss fans anything, it is that anything can happen any given Saturday. Tulane is having a surprisingly good season. ECU now falls to second place in the East division of Conference USA, with this being their first conference loss.
ECU was able to move the ball against Tulane fairly easy. The Pirates gained 543 total yards of offense, including 480 yards passing and a touchdown by quarterback Shane Carden. Wide receiver Justin Hardy had 17 receptions for 230 yards without scoring a touchdown. With those 17 receptions, Hardy surpassed his own record of 16 receptions set in the season opener against Old Dominion.
ECU has been a mainstay near the top of the conference having won seven-straight C-USA games before Saturday’s overtime lost to Tulane. Also before the Tulane loss, the Pirates had won four of their last five conference road games. ECU is currently on pace for a 3,715-yard campaign in 2013 so far after recording 1,548 air yards in their five games of the season. East Carolina has done a good job of damage control after turnovers so far this season, holding opponents to just three points in seven opportunities.
Its tough to pinpoint what ECU did wrong versus the Green Wave, after recovering from a 99-yard interception by Tulane, the Pirates ultimately made two costly mistakes against Tulane. There has not been much of a blueprint to stopping the Pirate offense, but there has been teams able to slow down their uptempo, high powered squad.
The Pirates defense is not the best in the nation, but are good enough to stop Allan Bridgford and company. The Pirates defense allowed 36 points, but only 310 yards of total offense. Tulane was forced to take four field goals in the first four quarters. Their only touchdown in regulation coming off a defensive touchdown on a 99-yard interception return. Southern Miss can hope this same defense overlooks their game next Saturday.
Southern is doing what they need to do for the most part, they just need to get over the hump, this is an offense that continues to commit turnover at a high rate. They move the ball pretty good for the most part, but become one dimensional over the course of four quarters. The Eagles are still looking to end their 17-game losing streak,in just this season a total of 19 turnovers in five games, have taken them out of games. The Golden Eagles certainly appreciate the triple overtime game, hopefully tiring the ECU Pirates team. Southern Miss is the only team in C-USA without a win. This week was the team’s second bye week of the season, the next game is at East Carolina on Oct. 19.