Marshall vs. Southern Miss prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Thundering Herd and Golden Eagles on Saturday in Hattiesburg, MS.
Marshall vs. Southern Miss Game Preview
When: Saturday, Oct. 29 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: M. M. Roberts Stadium, Hattiesburg, MS
TV Broadcast: N/A
The Thundering Herd (2-5, 1-2 Conference USA) are coming off of a bad 27-24 home loss to Charlotte, which received 123 rushing yards and two touchdowns from Kalif Phillips. Marshall kicker Amoreto Curraj missed a 40-yard field goal with 1:13 left that would have tied the game. The Herd were outscored 17-3 to finish the game, as Doc Holliday’s club squandered a 21-10 lead.
Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles (4-3, 2-1) were off last week following their 45-10 loss to LSU in Baton Rouge. Jay Hopson’s team was actually tied at 10 with the Tigers after two quarters of play before LSU scored 35 unanswered second-half points. Ito Smith scored the lone touchdown for Southern Miss, which had an early 7-0 lead. Golden Eagles quarterback Nick Mullens completed 25-of-36 passes for 161 yards in the loss.
In last year’s contest between these teams, Chase Litton threw two touchdowns and the Thundering Herd defense forced five turnovers in a 31-10 home win for Holliday and Co. Devon Johnson had 82 rushing yards and a score, and Deandre Reaves had 76 receiving yards and a touchdown.
What To Know About Marshall
In the loss last week to the 49ers, Litton passed for 262 yards and Keion Davis rushed for 90 yards, but the Herd had 12 penalties for 115 yards. Litton can be prolific, and this offense can put up points. But it has been inconsistent and plagued by turnovers and other mistakes. Defensively, Holliday’s squad has been porous both against the pass and run, which makes taking care of the football an even bigger priority on offense. The setback to Charlotte means there is very little room for error as Marshall chases a postseason bid.
What to Know About Southern Miss
The Golden Eagles can hang with a lot of Power Five teams because they have an abundance of offensive playmakers. We saw what coordinator Shannon Dawson’s unit was able to do in the season opener with the big second-half comeback at Kentucky. Defensively, though, the Eagles have now allowed a combined 100 points in their last two games. Perhaps this ‘D’ will be recharged after the bye, though. The unit has shown that it can go through really good stretches, particularly in second halves of games outside of the LSU loss. Coordinator David Duggan needs to see more consistency from his defense, but the off week certainly should help.
Offense: Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles are putting up an average of 490.0 yards per game, which is about 100 more than Marshall’s offense.
Defense: Southern Miss. Holliday’s squad is allowing opposing offenses to rack up 467.0 yards per game, which is about 130 more than what the Southern Miss defense is giving up per contest.
Special Teams: Southern Miss. Marshall’s Amoreto Curraj has missed four field goals this season, all between 40 and 49 yards.
Coaching: Even. Hopson went 32-17 at Alcorn State and is doing a fine job in his first season at Southern Miss, while Holliday is 4-0 in bowl games with Marshall.
Intangibles: Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles played LSU tough for a half and are coming off of a bye.
Matchup To Watch
Southern Miss offense vs. Itself
In last year’s loss to Marshall, Southern Miss had seven second-half possessions, all of which ended with a fumble, an interception or a turnover on downs. This season, the Golden Eagles are No. 120 in the nation in turnover margin, and Mullens has thrown eight interceptions. He’s also the same quarterback that put up 591 passing yards against Rice, so this offense can be explosive at 35.9 points per game. But turnovers can hurt the best of offenses. To keep pace in the C-USA West, the Golden Eagles need to play a clean game.
Spread: Southern Miss -9
Marshall vs. Southern Miss Prediction
The Herd have too many defensive holes to be able to withstand the Southern Miss offensive attack unless the Golden Eagles implode. Mullens may have a turnover or two, but Southern Miss wins a high-scoring affair to remain in the mix for a C-USA West crown.
Marshall vs. Southern Miss Score Prediction: Southern Miss 41, Marshall 27