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Southern Miss vs. LA Tech Postgame Notes

Oct. 25, 2014

Recap |  Final Stats |  Quotes |  Photo Gallery 1  |  Photo Gallery 2  SOUTHERN MISS vs. LOUISIANA TECH
POST GAME NOTES
October 25, 2014
Carlisle-Faulkner Field at M.M. Roberts Stadium

SOUTHERN MISS NOTES

Team Notes

  • Today's captains were wide receiver Markese Triplett, placekicker Corey Acosta, defensive lineman Dasman McCullum and offensive lineman Oliver Bates.
  • Louisiana Tech won the toss and deferred to the second half.
  • Today's attendance was 23,343.
  • Southern Miss is 31-15 all-time against Louisiana Tech, including 16-7 in Hattiesburg.
  • Southern Miss has lost 10 straight home conference games.
  • The Golden Eagles led 7-3 at the half. It is the first time they led a conference game at the half since leading 16-0 against UAB in 2012.
Offensive Notes
  • Quarterback Cole Weeks took over for Nick Mullens in the first quarter. He finished 28-of-45 for 338 yards, all of which are career highs. It is also his first career 300-yard game.
  • Weeks connected with Michael Thomas for a 16-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. It was Weeks' first career touchdown pass. It was also Thomas' fifth career touchdown.
  • Thomas finished with seven catches for 104 yards. It is his second 100-yard receiving game this year and of his career.
  • Wide receiver Markese Triplett had season-highs of six receptions for 114 yards. It is his first 100-yard game of the season and the third of his career.
  • It is also the first time that Southern Miss has had two receivers with 100-yards since Kelvin Bolden and Ryan Balentine against Rice in 2011.
  • Running back George Payne scored on an 18-yard rush in the first quarter. It was his sixth rushing touchdown of the year and seventh of his career.
  • Payne has a rushing touchdown in each of the last six games.
  • It also gave Southern Miss its first lead in a home conference game since last year against FIU (six games).
  • Maurice Ricard had a career-high six catches for a season-high 70 yards.
Defensive Notes
  • Southern Miss had nine tackles for loss, tying the season-high.
  • The Golden Eagles held Louisiana Tech to just 30 yards rushing. It is the first time they held a team to under 50 yards rushing since 2011 when they held Memphis to seven.
  • Defensive lineman Dylan Bradley recorded his third sack of the year in the first quarter.
  • Defensive back Jacorius Cotton recovered his first fumble of the year and second of his career.
Special Teams Notes
  • Michael Thomas returned a kickoff 37 yards in the third quarter, the longest of his career.
  • Corey Acosta connected on field goals of 44 and 26-yards. He is now 16-of-19 on the year, moving him into a tie for fifth-place with for field goals in a season, along with Darren McCaleb (2004, 2006), Rex Banks (1984) and Steve Clark (1983).

LOUISIANA TECH NOTES

Post-Game Notes

  • LA Tech captains for the game were Houston Bates, Kenneth Dixon, Tony Johnson and Hunter Lee.
  • Today's announced attendance: 23,343
  • LA Tech is now 4-0 in league play for just the sixth time since moving up to the Division I level in 1975 with a win over Southern Miss today.
  • For the first time since the 1982 season, LA Tech defeated Southern Miss on the road in Hattiesburg. The Bulldogs had lost five straight at M.M. Roberts Stadium prior to today's 31-20 victory over the Golden Eagles.
  • LA Tech won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half.
Offense
  • LA Tech was a perfect 3-of-3 inside the red zone today versus Southern Miss, bringing its season total to 25-of-28.
  • Kenneth Dixon needed just four yards to surpass Charles McDaniel for seventh place all-time in LA Tech history in career rushing yards (he entered today's game versus Southern Miss with 2,751 career rushing yards,) and after gaining 41 rushing yards, Dixon now has 2,792 career rushing yards to rank seventh in program history.
  • Marlon Watts made his first career reception early in the first quarter when Sokol connected with him for a 10-yard gain on 3rd & 10. The freshman went on to catch five passes for 72 yards.
  • Kenneth Dixon's 84-yard touchdown reception from Sokol on the second play of the third quarter was a career long reception for the junior and his fifth career touchdown reception. His previous high was a 39-yard reception at FIU in 2013. The 84-yard touchdown reception was Dixon's 45th career overall touchdown.
  • The 84-yard touchdown pass from Cody Sokol to Dixon was a career-long for Sokol. His previous long was a 78-yard pass against UL-Lafayette earlier this season.
  • Dixon's six receptions for 124 yards marked a new career-high in receiving yards. His previous high was three catches for 64 yards last season at FIU.
  • Dixon's 5-yard touchdown reception in the final minute of the third quarter marked the first career multiple receiving touchdown day of his career.
  • Sokol recorded new career marks in three categories on Saturday with 27 completions, 423 passing yards and a career-long 84-yard pass to Dixon for a LA Tech touchdown on the first possession of the second half.
  • With 423 passing yards, Cody Sokol became the first Bulldog quarterback since Colby Cameron to pass for over 400 yards. The last time was when Cameron passed for 468 yards at San Jose State on Nov. 24, 2012.
  • Sokol's 423 passing yards were the second-most passing yards by an opponent in M.M. Roberts Stadium history
  • Dixon also rushed for a 1-yard touchdown with just over four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to put LA Tech up 31-13 over Southern Miss. The rushing score gives Dixon 41 career rushing touchdowns and 47 total touchdowns in his career.
  • With three touchdowns for a total of 18 points on the day, Kenneth Dixon moved up to fifth all-time in career scoring in LA Tech history with 282 points. He entered the day in sixth place with 264 career points.
Defense
  • For the first time since 2009, LA Tech's defense held Southern Miss to negative rushing yards as the Golden Eagles had -31 rushing yards in the game. The last time the Bulldogs did so was on Sept. 30, 2009 when they held Hawai'i to -7 yards.
  • Adairius Barnes intercepted Southern Miss QB Cole Weeks on USM's first possession of the second half and returned it five yards to the LA Tech 36-yard line. Barnes now has five career interceptions, with three of those coming against Southern Miss.
  • Bryson Abraham picked off Southern Miss' Cole Weeks for his first interception of the season and the fourth of his career with 0:41 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
  • LA Tech's Kentrell Brice led the Bulldogs with 7 total tackles (7 solo), 1 sack and 1 tackles for loss, while Mitch Villemez had 5 total tackles (5 solo), 4 tackles for loss and 2 sacks, which is a career-high for the senior.
Special Teams
  • Kyle Fischer connected on a 24-yard field goal with 14:50 remaining in the 2nd quarter to cut Southern Miss' lead to 7-3.
  • Logan McPherson's 54-yard punt midway through the first quarter was a career-long for the sophomore. His previous mark was a 53-yard punt at UTEP in 2013.
  • McPherson punted the ball five times versus Southern Miss for 187 yards and an average of 37.4 on each punt.

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