College football update on Southern Miss, Mississippi State, Ole Miss & LSU

By A.J. Giardina – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Southern Miss opens Conference USA play 7 p.m. Saturday against Marshall at Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg.

This will be the sixth meeting between the two schools with the Golden Eagles holding a 4-1 advantage in the series.

Southern Miss has won 10 straight home games and a win over the Thundering Herd would tie a record set when the Golden Eagles won 11 consecutive games from 1998-2000 seasons.

Coach Larry Fedora said, "We talk about goals, which are to win the East and play for a C-USA Championship and that all starts this week.  I do not know if there is a huge amount of emphasis, but we make the guys aware of it.  We will practice the same and nothing will change in the way we prepare but they know this is for all the marbles now."

The Golden Eagles have posted 3 wins and 1 loss while the Thundering Herd have one win in four games.

Fedora says their record is deceiving, "Just watching them overall, they are a new staff with kids still learning what they want them to do.  They have been playing real hard, but just have not gotten over the hump.  They were in the game with West Virginia all the way to the end and played Ohio real tight Saturday.  Maybe that was the game that gets them where they need to be."

Marshall defeated Ohio 24-23 on Saturday.

Coach Fedora is looking for overall improvement following a 13-12 win over Louisiana Tech in Ruston.   He says the status of wide receiver DeAndre Brown is day-to-day.  Brown has what coach Fedora described as a lower leg strain.

Fedora said, "There is no concern that this is a lingering injury from his broken leg in 2008."

The Mississippi State Bulldogs got back on track Saturday pulling away from the Georgia Bulldogs 24 to 12 in Starkville.

Quarterback Chris Relf took control and guided Mississippi State's offense by mixing the run and pass. He rushed for 109 yards and added 148 yards passing and two touchdowns, keeping the Georgia defense off-balance.

Mississippi State tackles Alcorn State 11 a.m. Saturday in Starkville.

Coach Dan Mullen said, "It's a rivalry game. That's the benefit for us of playing an in-state team. A lot of the players have played against each other before and I think that's going to be a huge benefiting factor for our team this week."

He admitted the win over Georgia was just one game and is certainly not defining the season.

"We have a lot of football left," Mullen explained.  "This next run though is a little different, we're 1-2 in conference play so this next run is not loaded with conference games so we need to improve as a football team and get ready for that finishing stretch, in which we finish with four straight conference games to end the year and that will be critical."

Ole Miss took care of business on Saturday holding off Fresno State 55-38 in Oxford.  The 2-2 Rebels tackle 3 and 1 Kentucky 11:21 a.m. Saturday in Oxford.

Both the Rebels and Wildcats are both 0 and 1 in SEC play.

Ole Miss will be without the services of senior defensive end Kentrell Lockett.  The Hahnville, Louisiana native suffered an ACL injury in the win over Fresno State.

"That last game we got a few guys hurt, Nutt said.  "Kentrell Lockett, first and foremost, is a leader, and I hate it for him and for us.  He has been a tremendous leader in the locker room, and has been a true warrior.  We're going to miss him."

12th ranked LSU has run off 4 consecutive victories but the fans aren't jumping for joy.  That's because of the inconsistent play of junior quarterback Jordan Jefferson.  The fans would love to see backup quarterback Jarrett Lee get a shot at running the Tigers inept passing game.

Miles said, "Despite Jefferson's slumping passing numbers, he will remain our starter against Tennessee on Saturday."

The Tigers tackle Tennessee 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Baton Rouge.  Miles did say that Lee is maturing and that the time for him to get more meaningful snaps is approaching.

LSU is coming off a 20-14 win over West Virginia.  In the game, Jefferson was 10 of 22 for 75 yards and two interceptions.  He has passed for fewer than 100 yards and no touchdowns in three consecutive games.

Thanks to an aggressive defense and explosive special teams, LSU has been able to hold off the opposition.

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