HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WLOX) - Few programs, if any, across the country have been through anything quite like what Southern Miss has been through this season. Three head coaches, two short-notice postponements, and just one win up to the game against Rice. The Golden Eagles hadn’t lost to the Owls since 2014, but fell badly on Saturday.
Just two field goals were the only points for USM, both in the second quarter, while the Owls looked sharp, gaining 233 yards through the air on 12 completions and committing just one penalty. Although if there is a bright spot, it was the defense in the second half, allowing just a single score and forcing a turnover on downs to start the third quarter. And after a roller coaster season like this one, Tim Billings was appreciative of that second half effort.
“I talked to the kids. I really thought we played hard today, but at some point we have to execute," Billings said. "We had three turnovers in the first half, two of them on our end of the field. I really thought we challenged the guys, and I thought defensively we started playing better.”