WLOX Press Box: USM football by the numbers

WLOX Press Box: USM football by the numbers

UNDATED (WLOX) - In terms of game time, it's been 90 minutes and 56 seconds since Southern Miss allowed Kentucky's Jojo Kemp to score on a 7-yard touchdown run and give the Wildcats a 35-10 lead late in the second quarter.

Since then, the Golden Eagles (2-0) have outscored their opponents 90-0, including the program's largest come-from-behind victory to beat the Wildcats in Lexington, and a 56-0 shutout of Savannah State in Hattiesburg.

First-year head coach Jay Hopson is the first Southern Miss coach since Reed Green in 1937 to win his initial two games. The most recent one featured USM holding Savannah State to just 41 total yards -- the fewest amount by an opponent in Conference USA history.

But the Troy Trojans (1-1) have built some confidence recently as well. After opening the season with a 57-17 win over Austin Peay, the Trojans gave No. 2 Clemson a scare on their own turf.

"Am I proud of those guys in the locker room? You're absolutely right I am," Troy head coach Neal Brown said after the Clemson loss. "I'm absolutely proud of them, proud to coach them [and] proud to work with that staff, but it's not okay to lose."

"We already know Troy's an outstanding football team," Hopson said. "It not only wakes up what we already knew but really wakes up the entire country. We understand we've got a very good football team coming in."

Troy's 30-24 loss to Clemson also caught the eyes of college football fans all over the nation. The Trojans were the number-one trending topic on Twitter at one point on Saturday, but Brown wants to know if his Trojans are for real, or if they're a one-hit wonder.

"Offensively, I'm familiar with their offensive coordinator," Brown said. "[They have] similar styles to what we run. We're going to go play a team that I think is going to be a really good measuring stick for our program and find out, 'Have we gotten over the hump, or do we still have a ways to go?'"

Through two games, Southern Miss displays the ninth-best offense in college football (567.5 ypg), while Troy is not too far behind with the No. 18 ranked offensive attack (546 ypg).

Trojans quarterback Brandon Silvers is the unquestioned starter in Troy. The junior passed for 233 yards and two touchdowns along with two interceptions against Clemson.

The key for the Southern Miss defense might be getting to him early and often. While it's easy to say, it could be more difficult to actually accomplish. The Troy offensive line has allowed just one sack all season, and just four total in the last eight games dating back to the previous year.

But the Southern Miss defense has already tallied nine sacks and also has the ability to stop the Troy rushing game. The Trojans average 262 yards on the ground, while USM is seventh in the nation against the run (53.5 ypg).

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