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2013 Southern Miss
Schedule and Odds
What do you do when you don't win a game? Rebuild. That's exactly what Southern Miss has done in bringing in a full new coaching staff this past offseason. Head coach Todd Monken has experience at plenty of places, ranging from most recently at Oklahoma State to stints with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The former offensive coordinator will hope he can revive an offense that returns only three starters.
The Golden Eagles were a mess last year, but it should be mentioned they had some close games. Most notably, they went to two overtimes against UCF, one of the best teams in Conference-USA. Nevertheless, they still finished with zero wins. The quarterback spot isn't exactly set with freshmen and sophomores leading the charge. Cole Weeks currently has the lead, but that is by no means a certain thing with Ricky Lloyd and Kyle Sloter close behind. They'll at least have some experience at running back, but it will look similar to last year's output with three RBs getting at least 87 carries. The wide receivers have size and that's about it as the leading receiver last year finished with just 25 catches and 331 yards. The line loses four starters which won't help matters.
The defense at least returns seven players, so there's hope on that side of the ball. Coordinator David Duggan brings some confidence as he was with the team a couple years ago and is well liked. Led by senior tackle Khyri Thornton, the Golden Eagles aren't all that bad up front. Three starters return at linebacker, including possible NFL prospect Jerrion Johnson, so there is hope.
2013 Southern Miss
Aug. 31 vs. Texas State
Sept. 7 at Nebraska
Sept. 14 at Arkansas
Sept. 28 at Boise State
Oct. 5 vs. Florida International
Oct. 19 at East Carolina
Oct. 26 vs. North Texas
Nov. 2 at Marshall
Nov. 9 at Louisiana Tech
Nov. 16 vs. Florida Atlantic
Nov. 23 vs. Middle Tennessee
Nov. 30 at UAB
It wouldn't be surprising if Southern Miss started the season 1-0 as they get a home game with Texas State to start things off. The only problem is that they have a ridiculously hard three-game road stretch after that.
The Golden Eagles best chances at conference wins start right away with home games against Florida International and North Texas. Later in the year they'll also get Florida Atlantic at home. Unless they improve immensely, a road win is unlikely outside of the Louisiana Tech matchup.
There's an honest chance at four wins for USM here, but it's going to take some work. If the new QB can pick up the spread offense, they should at least be able to improve on the offensive end. While a conference title is still a few years away, the opportunities are there to win some games.
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