The Golden Eagles cannot get past the Cornhuskers. (Photo Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports)
That’s the current number of consecutive losses Southern Miss football fans have seen. The Nebraska Cornhuskers grounded the Golden Eagles last Saturday by a final score of 56-13. The loss extends the nation’s longest active losing streak in the FBS.
Southern Miss entered the game as four touchdown underdogs. The results game left me thinking the odds makers were far too generous. Much like in the Texas State game, the Golden Eagles shot themselves in the foot with turnovers. The Nebraska defense outscored the Golden Eagles in the first quarter, 14-3.
Inconsistency at the quarterback position seems to be plaguing this season’s team. Allan Bridgford has thrown five interceptions through two games. Anytime your giveaways outnumber your takeaways, your chances of winning are greatly diminished. The Golden Eagles’ offense seems not to realize this, as they threw four interceptions in the game.
The rushing game traveled to Lincoln last Saturday. The team rushed for a season high 62 yards on 27 attempts. The walk-on turned key player Rickey Bradley showed consistency again last week. Bradley had three catches for 57 yards and the lone touchdown. True freshman Tyre’oune Holmes continued his consistent play as well as he snagged a game-high 8 catches. The Golden Eagles had 284 total yards, showing the ability to move the ball.
Against the Bobcats of Texas State it was the running backs causing the team setbacks. Against Nebraska it was the quarterbacks; four interceptions is disappointing to a fan base. In the home opener, a little over 25,000 came to fill up “The Rock”. With the way the season is going at this point, it’s hard to see that many following games versus Arkansas and Boise State.
Youth in the secondary hurt the Golden Eagles as they started three sophomores and a freshman. As a whole, the defense was outmatched throughout the game. The group never had a fair chance due to playing from behind the whole game. Cornhusker quarterback Taylor Martinez was not a major factor of the ground. Martinez, in his fourth season as a starter, has greatly improved his passing, becoming one of the better dual threat quarterbacks in the nation. The Golden Eagles defense did well containing Nebraska’s biggest threat, forcing four punts. Fans of the Golden Eagles should consider those as wins when facing a team like Nebraska.
The season is still young and Todd Monken’s optimism is still high. Monken was pleased with the passing game even though the four turnovers came through the passing game. The offense’s lack of execution is hurting the team as a whole. The offense is only averaging 14 points per game and is ranked 123rd in the nation rushing yards. The bright side is that the passing game is ranked 28th in the nation. While ranked highly ranked, the offense is also highly inconsistent.
The Golden Eagles look to rebound as they travel to Fayetteville to face Arkansas this weekend. The Razorbacks are off to a hot start early in this season, while the Golden Eagles appear to be slow out of the gate.