While Southern Miss has historically had some great teams and competed with Alabama at times in years past, the Golden Eagles have thus far struggled in 2021. There’s no Brett Favre at QB, and, overall, their offense has been totally stuffed by the two smaller Alabama schools, Troy and South Alabama.
Starting QB Trey Lowe only put up 220 passing yards through a game and a half while throwing two picks, and was sidelined against Grambling in week 2 with a foot injury. Freshman Ty Keyes took over in week 3 against Troy, and managed 157 yards and 2 interceptions while losing another 45 yards in sacks. The Golden Eagles didn’t manage a single offensive touchdown against the Trojans.
Demarcus Jones and Jakarius Caston lead the way with 7 catches each, but neither has eclipsed 100 total yards through three games... Even with an easy 30 point win over a horrible Grambling team. The Eagles have a few other receivers rotating around that have pulled in a few catches, but for the most part, their passing game has been so non-existent that it’s hard to tell if any of them can be legitimate playmakers or not.
Their rushing game has faired a little better. Frank Gore, Jr. had 81 yards vs South Alabama and exploded for 162 vs Grambling, but was held to 31 on 15 carries against Troy. Gore is a diminutive, but explosive, second-year guy who racked up 700 yards on nearly 6 yards per carry in 2020. He, along with designed QB runs, are the focal point of the offense. Dajon Richard is his backup, and will sub in occasionally if Gore needs a breather.
The Golden Eagle offense is a spread, read-option based offense. It’s actually kind of similar to what Dan Mullen has run in Mississippi State and last week with Florida, so that will be a good experience for the Alabama defense to work on some of the concepts they struggled with a week ago. Of course, the talent level there is.... not the same.
If the Alabama defense is going to shut out anyone this year, this will be the game. Other than a field goal opening drive, Troy very nearly did it, and the Tide defense should be firing mad after what happened against Florida last week.
I think the Eagles might get a field goal off of good field position due to a defensive or special teams play, but other than that, it’s a total shut down by the Alabama defense.