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Top 11 of 2011 Football Season

The 2011 Southern Miss football season was a season for the record books including the most wins in school history, a Conference USA championship, and ending with a Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl victory.

SouthernMiss.com will be showcasing the top 11 highlights of the 2011 football season over the next four weeks with the #1 highlight being released on Wednesday, February 1st, national signing day.


No. 1 - 12 Victories

February 1, 2012

 
Heading into the 2011 Southern Miss football season, the Golden Eagles accomplished double digit victories twice over their first 99 years of existence.

The program had won then school-record 10 games in both the 1952 and 1988 seasons until that number was shattered this past season with 12 victories.

 
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Top 11       No. 2 - Conference USA Championship

January 30, 2012

 
It had been eight seasons since the Southern Miss football team captured a Conference USA title.

The Golden Eagles won the league crown the first two seasons of C-USA play during the 1996 and 1997 campaigns. They added their third title in 1999 before getting a fourth in 2003.

 
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No. 3 - Bowl Win

January 27, 2012

 
The three main reasons were to cap off a Conference USA championship season with a victory, to get to a win total that the school had never ascended to before and to snap a two-game bowl losing streak. It was the 22nd overall appearance for the Golden Eagles in a postseason bowl game as well as the 10th consecutive season and 14th time in the last 15 years that they have earned a postseason trip. Although they faced a 7-5 Nevada squad that finished third in the Western Athletic Conference, the Wolf Pack proved to be a tough foe behind a strong running game of Lampford Mark on offense and All-American defensive lineman Mark Roy.
 
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Top 11       No. 4 - National Rankings

January 25, 2012

 
With success comes recognition.

That is exactly what happened for the 2011 Southern Miss football which enjoyed one of its finest, if not best season, in the school's first 100 years.

 
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No. 5 - National Exposure

January 23, 2012

 
The success of the 2011 Southern Miss football team brought great exposure to the program, its athletics department and the University as a whole.

One exciting piece of that exposure came with a couple of inside looks into the program. The first happened prior to the season and then during the campaign as cameras captured the action both on and off the practice and game fields for the Golden Eagles.

 
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Top 11       No. 6 - Winning Season Streak

January 20, 2012

 
For those that follow Southern Miss, they are aware of this fact - the Golden Eagles have 18-straight winning seasons and there are only three other Football Bowl Subdivision programs that can claim a better current run that the school in Hattiesburg, Miss.
 
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No. 7 - Opportunistic Defense

January 18, 2012

 
The defense, dubbed the "Nasty Bunch," was just that during this last season as they scored 13 different times on the campaign from the group that is looked upon to prevent points and not produce them. The Golden Eagles registered a NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision record eight interceptions for touchdowns as the squad also returned three blocked punts for scores, picked up a fumble that led to a touchdown and blocked a field goal which resulted in a Golden Eagle touchdown.
 
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Top 11       No. 8 - Winning Awards

January 13, 2012

 
It was a banner year in 2011 for football Golden Eagles accepting accolades for their work both on and off the field.
 
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No. 9 - The Unheralded Big Moments

January 11, 2012

 
Many magical moments resonate in Golden Eagle fans' minds from this past season that encompass blocked punts returned for touchdowns to interceptions returned for scores. The plays were endless. This is a look back at some of the things that happened during the season that might not necessarily be on one's highlight reel but turned into being a big part of the outcome of that particular game.
 
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Top 11       No. 10 - Enjoying a Perfect Record at Home

January 9, 2012

 
The Golden Eagles enjoyed their second season in the last three years with an unblemished home record by compiling a 6-0 mark.
 
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No. 11 - Spreading the Scoring Around

January 4, 2012

 
It truly was a team effort in 2011 in terms of players contributing to the school-record 516 point total for Southern Miss in its 12-win season.
 
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