July 17, 2013
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The 2013 Conference USA preseason football poll was announced Wednesday and the 14-league coaches have picked Southern Miss to finish fifth in the East Division.
With 11 first-place votes, East Carolina earned the No. 1 nod in the East Division ahead of Marshall, who got two first-place votes and Middle Tennessee, which received one first-place tally. UAB notched fourth place, followed by the Golden Eagles, Florida Atlantic and FIU.
Tulsa garnered a unanimous first-place finish in the West, followed by Rice, Louisiana Tech, UTEP, North Texas, Tulane and UTSA.
Southern Miss junior defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches (Phenix City, Ala.) earned the only preseason season all-league selection for the Golden Eagles. Last season, Nunez-Roches tallied a total of 37 tackles (22 solos) which included six tackles for loss, a sack, a blocked kick, a pass break up and a forced fumble.
The Golden Eagles open the season Saturday, Aug. 31, at home against Texas State. Game time is set for 6 p.m.
Season tickets are available by going online at SouthernMissTickets.com, by calling 1-800-844-TICK (8425) or by visiting the Pat Ferlise Ticket Office weekdays from 8 a.m., until 5 p.m.
|Predicted Order of Finish|
|1.||East Carolina (11)||95|
|3.||Middle Tennessee (1)||70|
|(first place votes in parentheses)|
|Offensive Player of the Year|
|Rakeem Cato, Jr., QB, Marshall|
|Defensive Player of the Year|
|Phillip Gaines, Sr., DB, Rice|
|Special Teams Player of the Year|
|Cairo Santos, Sr., K, Tulane|
|First Team Offense|
|RB||Vintavious Cooper||Sr.||East Carolina|
|OL||Matt Shepperd||Jr.||Louisiana Tech|
|OL||Will Simmons||Sr.||East Carolina|
|WR||Justin Hardy||Jr.||East Carolina|
|First Team Defense|
|DL||Justin Ellis||Sr.||Louisiana Tech|
|DL||Rakeem Nunez-Roches||DL||Southern Miss|
|LB||Derrell Johnson||Sr.||East Carolina|
|LB||Andre Kirk||Jr.||Florida Atlantic|
|DB||Kevin Byard||So.||Middle Tennessee|
|First Team Special Teams|
|KR||Reggie Whatley||Jr.||Middle Tennessee|
|Follow SouthernMissFootball:||Follow @SouthernMissFB|