Game Preview: Southern Miss vs. Middle Tennessee
Nov. 22, 2013
|Middle Tennessee State||42|
New Orleans, La.
Middle Tennessee State Tops Southern Miss, 42-32
Dwight Dasher threw two touchdowns and rushed for two more as Middle Tennessee stretched its winning streak to seven straight games by beating Southern Miss 42-32 in the New Orleans Bowl on Sunday night.
Prior to the game, Southern Miss will honor its senior class, a group that was part of the 2011 Conference USA championship and participated in the 2010 Beef `O' Brady's Bowl and 2011 Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl.
This will be the second meeting between Southern Miss and Middle Tennessee (6-4, 4-2 C-USA) and the first between the schools as Conference USA opponents.
The only previous meeting came in the 2009 R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, a game the Blue Raiders won 42-32.
In Middle Tennessee, the Golden Eagles face a team that is averaging 394.2 yards and 28.1 points per game. The Blue Raiders have allowed 418.5 yards and 27.9 points per game. The Blue Raider offense is led by quarterback Logan Kilgore, who has passed for 1,792 yards and 13 touchdowns on the year.
Running back Jordan Parker has accounted for 653 yards and five scores while the receiving duo of Tavaris Jefferson and Kyle Griswould has combined for 713 yards and seven touchdowns. The Southern Miss defense will counter with a collection of young players who have continued to show flashes of brilliance.
Sophomore defensive back DeBarriaus Miller continues to lead the team in tackles. On the year he's made 44 solo stops and assisted on 40 tackles. He's also made one interception, broken up a pass and logged a pair of quarterback hurries.
Redshirt sophomore linebacker Terrick Wright is second on the team with 82 tackles (39 solo) and has accounted for four tackles for loss, one interception, one quarterback hurry, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Freshman defensive back Kelsey Douglas has come on strong of late and is now third on the team in tackles with 60 (30 solo) to go along with an interception, 3.5 tackles for loss and one forced fumble.
On the opposite side of the ball, true freshman quarterback Nick Mullens, who will make his fifth start, has completed 85 passes for 1,117 yards and five touchdowns. Last week versus Florida Atlantic, he added his first career rushing touchdown.
The Middle Tennessee defense is headed by safety Kevin Byard, who was instrumental in a 48-0 blanking of Florida International. On the year, Byard has made 80 tackles, second most on the team, and a team-high four interceptions. He had one interception returned for a touchdown versus Florida International.
Linebacker T.T. Barber leads the Blue Raiders with 103 tackles and has also accounted for 7.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles.
Southern Miss closes its 2013 campaign at UAB next Saturday. Game time is set for 12 noon.