Same story, different game. The Southern Miss Golden Eagles (0-8), (0-4) left Huntington W. Va., with their losing streak intact. The Marshall Thundering Herd (5-3, 3-1 C-USA) assisted the Eagles in increasing their streak to 20 consecutive losses with a 61-13 pounding. Thundering Herd quarterback Rakeem Cato went 21 for 28 with 262 yards and five touchdowns. Golden Eagles quarterback Nick Mullens completed 50% of his passes and added 323 yards and a touchdown.
The Golden Eagles’ offense looked good but Marshall’s offense better. The Eagles offense gained 397 total yards, while the Herd offense produced 636. The Eagles offense could only rushed for 74, clearly forcing the offense to pass the ball a lot more. Turnovers once again cripple the offense as the Golden Eagles fumbled away their opening possession and on the following play Marshall scored. The Golden Eagles only had two turnovers in the game, which is a major improvement considering games from earlier this season.
The Eagles ability to protect the ball against Marshall, one of the conference’s top defenses, shows strides in the right direction. The Golden Eagles controlled the time of possession battle for the first time this season. The inability to run the ball and lack of execution, stalls many of the offense’s drives. The offensive struggles has contributed to the defensive struggles this season, never allowing the defense to play with a lead.
The Golden Eagles defense allowed Cato to throw four of his five touchdowns in the first quarter. The defense started the game defending a short field from 27 yards out. Cato led the Herd offense to a score in one play. After the first score, the defense did not have to defend a short field for the rest of the game. In the Herd’s second possession, they drove 74 yards in three plays and on the next possession the Herd drove 71 yards. Both drives ended in touchdowns.
The Thundering Herd took a 28-0 lead into the second quarter. Midway through the second quarter, Mullens connected with wide receiver Markese Triplett for an 81-yard touchdown strike. On their next possession, the Golden Eagles would score again with a Corey Acosta field goal, Acosta is 7 for 14 for field goals this season. Acosta has taken heat on social media because of his recent inconsistency, managed to go two for two.
The Golden Eagles defense had some bright spots as they were able to play on the Herd’s side of the line of scrimmage. The defense as a whole had 6.5 tackles for loss. Redshirt junior defensive end Dasman McCullum led the team in tackles for loss versus Marshall. McCullum is second on the team in tackles for loss this season and seems to have a nose for the ball as he once again recovered a fumble, his third recovery this season. McCullum’s three fumble recoveries also leads the team.
The Thundering Herd pulled away in the third quarter as they scored 26 unanswered points. To go along with Mullens’ 323 passing yards, Triplett finished the game with 4 receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown. Triplett averaged a little over 30 yards a reception. George Payne led the team with 46 rushing yards.
On Nov. 9 the Golden Eagles will travel to Ruston, La., to face the Lousiana Tech Bulldogs (3-5, 2-2). Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. The game is tentatively scheduled to appear on the CBS Sports Network.