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UTEP at Southern Miss: Getting to know the Golden Eagles

Southern Miss. boasts a proud football tradition, and is on the right track for that glory to return.

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Here are some facts on the 2015  Southern Miss. Golden Eagles.

  • Southern Miss is currently in its 99th football season, having competed for the first time in 1912. The Golden Eagles have posted an all-time record of 569-407-27.
  • The program looks to snap a three-season losing streak after previously compiling a school-best 18 consecutive winning seasons and appearing in 14 bowl games in 15 years, which ended in 2011.
  • After producing five plays of 20-or-more yards at Charlotte, the Golden Eagles now have accumulated 56 offensive plays of 20-plus yards in 2015 (14 rushing, 42 passing), 10 of which have gone for touchdowns
  • Senior wide receiver Mike Thomas registered his fifth consecutive 100-yard receiving game with six catches for 105 yards at Charlotte, giving him seven total for his career. He is the only Golden Eagle to ever achieve this feat. Thomas is tied for second on the career school charts with 100-yard receiving games, tied with DeAndre Brown (2008-2010).
  • The Golden Eagles have enjoyed quick-strike scoring this season, producing 18 touchdowns that have taken less than two minutes off the game clock.
  • For the first time in school history, the Golden Eagles had two players over 100 yards rushing - Jalen Richard (25-115, TD) and Ito Smith (14-101) - and two over 100 yards in receiving - D. J. Thompson (6-141, TD) and Mike Thomas (5-103, TD) - in the same game against UTSA two weeks ago.
  • Southern Miss leads Conference USA in average home attendance with its 28,714 per game in four home games this season
  • The Golden Eagles trail in the series with UTEP 4-3, having lost the two games in the series.
  • Southern Miss is 0-2 against the Miners at home, dropping a 40-37 double-overtime contest in 2008 and a 34-33 tilt at The Rock in 2012.
  • Senior running back Jalen Richard rushed for career-highs of 230 yards and four touchdowns in leading visiting Southern Miss to a 56-50 victory over Texas State in earning the C-USA Offensive Player of the Week honors on Sept. 21
  • Junior quarterback Nick Mullins has 10-career 300-yard passing games, and owns two of the top five single game passing performances in school history.
  • The Golden Eagles have had 14 rushing plays of 20 or more yards and 42 passing plays. If you add in kick returns (13), punt returns (one) and interception returns (three), the number jumps to 73 for the year. Southern Miss had two passing plays of at least 50 yards (50 and 53) against Nebraska but did not score on either play. Eight of the top 11 offensive plays, of which all were at least 47 yards, have been touchdowns.
  • Southern Miss had three plays of at least 50 yards for a touchdown against Texas State. That was the first time the Golden Eagles had scored three touchdowns of at least 50 yards in a game since scoring on a pair of interceptions (97 and 79 yards) along with a punt return for 60 yards against East Carolina (11/5/11)
  • Senior defensive back Kalan Reed has played in 42 career games with 30 starts.  He has 28 pass breakups in his career, and seven career interceptions.
  • Senior long snapper Lance Schuffert had 209 consecutive snaps without a punt block until the Mississippi State game earlier this year.
  • Southern Miss. added five Power 5 school transfers, and 11 JUCO players in their recruiting class of 2015. The Golden Eagles added defensive linemen Andrew Bolton (Kansas), Naim Mustafaa (Miami), Quincy Russell (Oklahoma) and linebacker Anthony Swain (Auburn) to the mix for this season and all have made strong contributions during the 2015 season.
  • Southern Miss held an opponent under 300 yards of total offense for the third consecutive week at Charlotte, limiting the 49ers to 257 yards.