The Golden Eagles open the 2017 season by playing host to the Wildcats.
Dawson comes to Southern Miss after spending one season as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Kentucky. He also helped build some of the nation's most prolific offenses at West Virginia, where he spent four seasons, including his last three as offensive coordinator. In his last season there, WVU ranked 12th in the nation in total offense, averaging 499.8 yards per game, and was ninth nationally in passing offense with 317 yards per contest. The Mountaineers tallied 33.5 points per game and set a school record by scoring at least 30 points in eight consecutive games. WVU also averaged more than 182 rushing yards per game. A native of Clinton, La., Dawson played his college football at Wingate (N.C.) University as a quarterback and wide receiver. He began his coaching career as receivers coach at his alma mater in 2002. Dawson helped revive a program at Southeastern Louisiana in 2003-04 that had been dormant for 17 years before moving to New Mexico State in 2005. He then went to Millsaps College as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2006-07. The Majors won the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference championship both years, the first back-to-back titles in school history, and played in the NCAA Division III playoffs in 2006. Dawson moved to Stephen F. Austin University as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2008-10. Dawson and his wife, Chelsea, have two daughters, Acelyn and Baker.