2. KEYS TO THE SEASON
Biggest Key To The Southern Miss Offense
Get much, much better line play. There’s no excuse to convert just 36% of your third down chances, and to sputter as much as your offense does, when you have a deadly accurate 73% passer like Jack Abraham and a good group of skill players to keep things moving, unless …
Unless your offensive line isn’t doing anything to keep defenses from roasting marshmallows in your backfield.
The Golden Eagles have a line loaded with experience and size, and now it has to be a whole lot stronger after allowing the second-most tackles for loss per game in the nation and pushing for a mere 113 rushing yards per outing.
Biggest Key To The Southern Miss Defense
Create steadier pressure. It’s hard to fault a defense that dominated throughout the season, led the nation with the fewest first downs allowed, and finished No. 3 overall. It would be nice, though, to generate more big plays and sacks.
The Golden Eagles generated 23 sacks on the season to average just over two per game. That was fine, but not great. Again, the overall results were amazing, but the sacks came in waves, with two or more in six of the games, and one or none in five of them.
Key Player To A Successful Season
OT Drake Dorbeck, Sr.
… and the rest of the offensive line. All five starters are back along with all of the top reserves. There’s talent, upside, and depth. If the line becomes stronger and more consistent, and the offense can crank out about 30 points per game, the Golden Eagles should be deadly.
The 6-6, 320-pound Dorbeck is a good, smart veteran who’s back at left tackle. He’s an all-star in the classroom, and if he’s a all-star on the field, again … look out.
Key Game To The Southern Miss Season
North Texas, Oct. 12
Beating UAB is a must to have a shot at winning the Conference USA West title, but that comes later. First, the Golden Eagles have to get by North Texas – that’s been a massive problem.
The Mean Green have won three straight in the series, but USM gets the game at home after getting a week off to prepare.But UNT gets a week off to get ready, too.
– Southern Miss Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2018 Southern Miss Fun Stats
– Field Goals: Southern Miss 18-of-22 – Opponents 10-of-17
– Red Zone Scoring: Southern Miss 30-of-34 – Opponents 23-of-31
– Punt Return Average: Southern Miss 11.45 yards – Opponents 3.13 yards