The Southern Miss Golden Eagles will be traveling to Legion Field, in Birmingham to face the Alabama-Birmingham. This game versus UAB is the final opportunity this season for the Golden Eagles to record that elusive first victory. The Eagles head into the game 0-11, while the UAB Blazers are 2-9 this season with one victory within the conference.
Southern Miss is currently on the nation’s longest losing streak, 23 consecutive losses. A loss to the Blazers would be the second straight winless season. The Golden Eagles played their final home game of the season last week against Middle Tennessee, and they were doubled up by the Blue Raiders in a 42-21 final. There is not one thing you can point to as the reason for the Golden Eagles’ struggles. Scoring only 13 points per game while allowing 43.3 points per game, most games are over by halftime. The rushing attack has been non-existent, accounting for 70 yards per game and only two TDs, the arms of Nick Mullens and Allan Bridgford to move the chains have been the only options, the duo have combined to complete almost 50 percent of their passes for more than 2,500 yards, 14 TDs and a disappointing, 24 interceptions.
The Southern Miss defense has not had those opportune stops to shift momentum this season.They have struggled against the run, due to the outweighed and injury. The defense has surrendered 36 rushing touchdowns and given up a little more than 231 yards per game on the ground. The pass defense is a bit better, only giving up 204 yards through the air on average, mostly because teams do not have to throw against the Eagles defense.
The UAB Blazers are coming off a 37-34 overtime loss to C-USA Western Division leader Rice last Thursday night. After trailing 31-21 with less than four minutes to play, UAB rallied with 10 unanswered points in regulation, then took a 34-31 lead in the overtime before Rice scored the game-winning touchdown on a 1-yard run by Luke Turner. For most of the season the Blazers have struggled this season, with a few more breaks, the Southern Miss Golden Eagles could have the same record. In the Blazers last game, they rallied from a 10-point deficit three times in the game, the final one coming in the fourth quarter.
This game is a very winnable game for the winless Golden Eagles, I believe this is the game that they pull off to head into next season with momentum. In the eyes of many, their only hurdle is the first victory of the Todd Monken era. Nick Mullens has had enough games against better defenses to have decent to good game versus the Blazers defense. If Mullens can get some help from his teammates in the backfield, his life would be made a lot easier. I have the Golden Eagles winning by 10 points or less. The game is set for kickoff at noon on Saturday at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala.