Southern Miss has continued its winning ways and remarkable turnaround in a 56-31 thrashing of Old Dominion Saturday in the final home game in Hattiesburg.
With the win, the Golden Eagles have set themselves up for a "winner take all" game that will decide the Western Division of Conference USA against Louisisna Tech next Saturday.
Southern Miss nearly doubled the offensive output of Old Dominion, and it was the ground game that shined. The Golden Eagles gained 310 yards on the ground led by a monster game from Jalen Richard, who gained 161 yards and scored 4 TD's. Ito Smith averaged 8 yards per carry and tallied 125 yards total. The offensive line wore down the defensive line of ODU and showed how the depth and experience are really paying off in the trenches. RIchard now has surpassed the 1,000 yard mark, becoming the first Golden Eagle to do that since Damion Fletcher. It was the 6th time of his career that Ito Smith has gone over the 100 yard mark.
Quick Strike Offense
Southern Miss once again scored fast and scored often. The Golden Eagles had 8 TD drives on the day, and of those, 5 took less than 2:00 offf the clock. This is nothing new for Todd Monken's offense. On the season, they have scored 30 times in less than 2:00. Southern Miss outscored ODU 35-0 over the final 22 minutes of the game.
Nick Mullens continues to put up incredible numbers for Southern Miss. He passed for 302 yards on the day, the 12th time in his career he's gone over 300 yards. During the game, he also passed a guy named Brett Favre for 2nd all time in passing yards. He has a total of 7,824 for his career. When he hit Casey Martin for a 34 yards TD pass in the first quarter, it was the 31st time he's thrown one this season breaking Austin Davis' former record of 30. Casey Martin broke a record of his own by catching his 68th pass of the year, a new school record held by DeAndre Brown who caught 67 in 2008.
Southern Miss honored 20 seniors who each had contributed to the success of the 2015 turnaround season. Some had been with the program for years, and others as short as one year. All of them integral to the season that got the Golden Eagles back on track.