Southern Miss (0-3) at Boise State (2-2)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 28, 10:15 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bronco Stadium (36,387) -- Boise, Idaho.
Television: ESPN U. Home Record: USM 0-1, BSU 2-0. Away Record: USM 0-2, BSU
0-2. Neutral Record: USM 0-0, BSU 0-0. Conference Record: USM 0-0, BSU 1-1.
Series Record: Boise State leads, 3-0.
GAME NOTES: The Boise State Broncos will attempt to stay perfect on the blue
turf this season as they play host to the Southern Miss Golden Eagles on
After losing all 12 games in 2012 under Ellis Johnson, Southern Miss has
experienced a similar fate this season with new head coach Todd Monken by
losing all three of its contests thus far. The Golden Eagles extended the
nation's longest losing streak to 15 games following a Sept. 14 setback at
Although Boise State has lost both of its road contests, it continues to hold
one of the nation's best home field advantages, winning matchups in Boise over
Tennessee-Martin (63-14) and Air Force (42-20). The Broncos appeared poised to
knock off Fresno State last week on the road, but after erasing a 15-point
second-half deficit, they allowed the game-winning touchdown with 2:14 left to
lose, 41-40, falling to 1-1 in the Mountain West Conference in the process.
Boise State has won all three previous meetings with Southern Miss, including
last season in Hattiesburg, 40-14.
Southern Miss has yet to score more than 15 points in a game this season. Its
scoring offense (10.3 ppg) ranks 120th out of 123 qualifying FBS teams, and
its total offense (312.7 ypg) isn't much better at 112th.
Most of the Golden Eagles' production comes through the air, with Allan
Bridgford throwing for 732 yards through the first three games, although the
signal caller's efficiency (.545, two TDs, seven INTs) has not been up to
Tyre'oune Holmes leads the team with 24 receptions, but they've gone for just
173 yards (7.2 ypc). Rickey Bradley is the team's deep threat with 250 yards
and a touchdown on just 10 catches.
The team amassed just 68 rushing yards per game and it has yet to score a
rushing touchdown. Jalen Richard leads the way with 115 yards.
The Golden Eagles defense has actually done a good job keeping opposing
offenses in check, holding teams to just 337.7 ypg, but with the offense
continually putting the unit in poor situations, it surrenders 34.0 ppg.
Alan Howze anchors the defense with 34 tackles and 2.5 TFL. Octavius Thomas
has registered the team's lone sack, while Kelsey Douglas has its only
Boise State has made a name for itself over the past decade for having one of
the nation's top offenses, and it is off to a good start in 2013 with 37.8 ppg
and 478.0 ypg. It has been outstanding on third down as well with a 50 percent
In his second year as the starter, senior quarterback Joe Southwick is off to
an impressive start through four games, completing nearly 72 percent of his
passes for 986 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions. He has also
made use of his scrambling ability with 124 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Jay Ajayi has taken over the starting tailback position this year and has
responded well with 352 yards on 75 carries, displaying an outstanding nose
for the end zone with seven touchdowns. Aaron Baltazar (198 yards, two TDs)
also sees plenty of reps in the backfield.
Matt Miller (281 yards, TD) is the third-leading receiver in the MWC with 30
receptions, although he is far from the only option in the passing game. Kirby
Moore (195 yards, two TDs), Geraldo Boldewijn (219 yards) and Shane Williams-
Rhodes (147 yards, two TDs) all have at least 17 catches to round out one of
the deepest receiving corps in the nation.
Unfortunately for the Broncos, their disappointing defense (28.2 ppg, 440.8
ypg) has allowed opponents to keep pace with their high-powered offense.
Darian Thompson and Bryan Douglas each have a pair of interceptions, with
Douglas returning a pick 33 yards for a touchdown in the UT-Martin win a few
weeks back. Ben Weaver (30 tackles, 1.5 TFL), Damarcus Lawrence (19 tackles,
3.5 TFL, sack) and Beau Martin (3.0 TFL, 2.0 sacks) are also defensive
Southern Miss has at least played more competitively early in the 2013 season
than it did for most of last year, which would suggest that its embarrassing
losing streak should come to a close sometime soon, but don't expect it to
happen on the road against a Boise State squad that gets up for its primetime
blue turf battles.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boise State 42, Southern Miss 17
09/25 10:35:50 ET