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Southern Miss vs. Charlotte Prediction, Game Preview

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Southern Miss vs. Charlotte prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Golden Eagles and 49ers.


Southern Miss vs. Charlotte Game Preview

When: Saturday, November 5 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Roberts Stadium, Hattiesburg, MS
Broadcast: American Sports Network

Southern Miss halted a two-game losing streak by beating Marshall in Hattiesburg last Saturday, 24-14. And in so doing, the Golden Eagles remained in the mix to capture the West Division of Conference USA. They’re tied in the loss column with Louisiana Tech, who they’ll host to close out the regular season on Nov. 25. Charlotte’s last game was also a win over the Thundering Herd, though that occurred a week before last Saturday’s bye. The 49ers have won two straight on the road, so playing at Roberts Stadium shouldn’t be unsettling for Brad Lambert’s players.

What To Know About Southern Miss

It’s been an up-and-down year for the Eagles, whose peak came in an upset of Kentucky on the opening weekend. The defense has struggled all season long, allowing almost six yards a play to rank 88th nationally. Fortunately for first-year head coach Jay Hopson, he inherited the necessary offensive weapons to overcome defensive breakdowns. QB Nick Mullens and RB Ito Smith are all-league candidates in the backfield, and WR Allenzae Staggers has bloomed into a dangerous deep threat in his debut out of East Mississippi Community College.

What to Know About Charlotte

While the struggles continue for Lambert, his 3-5 49ers are making progress in their second year at the FBS level. Winning at Marshall, even in a down year for the Herd, is an undeniable sign of progress. Keeping the momentum going in Hattiesburg would indicate this program is ready to make a bowl run. Next-level NT Larry Ogunjobi headlines a defense that’s been stout against the run the last two games. And the offense has received a spark from QB Hasaan Klugh, who’s come off the bench as a passer but especially as a scrambler.

Advantages

Offense: Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles rank among the most balanced and potent offensive attacks in Conference USA.

Defense: Southern Miss. While neither D would be classified as stingy this fall, the Eagles are doing a markedly better job of getting upfield pressure with linemen Dylan Bradley, Xavier Thigpen and Ja’Boree Poole.

Special Teams: Southern Miss. P Tyler Sarrazin and PK Parker Shaunfield form a reliable kicking duo for the Eagles.

Coaching: Charlotte. Lambert is more experienced than Hopson, and has done a solid job of guiding the 49ers into the FBS ranks.

Intangibles: Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles will play with the added motivation of keeping pace with Louisiana Tech in the West Division.

Matchup To Watch

Ogunjobi vs. Southern Miss C Cameron Tom

It’ll be a battle of all-league interior linemen when Ogunjobi and Tom go head-to-head on Saturday. If Tom is able to negate the pressure of Ogunjobi, a very tough assignment, life becomes a ton easier for Smith on the ground and Mullens when he drops back to throw.

Southern Miss vs. Charlotte Betting Odds

Spread: Southern Miss -19.5
Over/Under: 63.5

Southern Miss vs. Charlotte Prediction

Charlotte is gradually moving north, but not quickly enough to win this game. Southern Miss will have too much firepower and diversity for a defense that’s light on proven stoppers after Ogunjobi. The Eagles will mix in plays from Mullens, Smith and Staggers to build an early cushion. And as valuable as Klugh has been for the 49ers, he’s the wrong type of quarterback to count on to erase a large deficit. USM remains in the forefront of the Conference USA title chase.

Southern Miss vs. Charlotte Score Prediction: Southern Miss 41, Charlotte 21

MORE: No. 1-128 College Football Rankings – Week 10

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