BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Southern Miss celebrates homecoming Saturday night at 6:30 at Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg. The Golden Eagles (4-1) entertain East Carolina (2-2). The Golden Eagles will be playing in their 74th homecoming game and have enjoyed great success, piling up 55 wins and 18 defeats.
"They have a total change of scheme and personnel basically," Fedora stated at today's news conference. "They had 28 seniors last year and most of them were starting so it's a totally new team. It is Ruffin McNeill's team and those guys know what it takes to win a conference championship and we have to go through them."
He said offensively East Carolina resembles the Texas Tech teams in recent years.
"They throw the ball around and have done a really good job this season with it. Now whether it's the biggest test this year or not, we know that ECU has won the conference each of the last two years and if we want to win the East we have to go through them. So it's a big game for us. It's a big game, because it is the next game."
The Pirates opened the season with a 51-49 win over Tulsa followed by a 49-27 victory against Memphis. East Carolina has dropped the last two outings, falling to Virginia Tech 49-27 and lost to North Carolina on Saturday, 42-17.
In this his third season in Hattiesburg, Fedora says his Golden Eagles are beginning to excel under his system.
"You are seeing the guys grow up and grow into what we want them to be, " he stated. "We have seen some flashes off it the past couple of years but it just takes time. The guys are maturing and the only negative thing right now is the injuries. Like I said at the beginning of the year, if we can get healthy and stay healthy, then I thought we had a chance to be a good football team. I also said at that time that I thought the defense would be the strength of our team and I still believe that at this point. It will also continue that way throughout the season."
Fedora said wide receiver DeAndre Brown remains day-to-day but is better than he was last week. He said Brown has a lot of pain when he runs, "If he can't run effectively, he won't be able to help the offense."
Southern Miss is 1 and 0 in C-USA play. The Pirates are 2 and 0.