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Doc Holliday’s Grand Tour Of C-USA: Southern Miss Golden Eagles

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on July 10, 2008

Southern Miss Golden Eagles

Head Coach: Larry Fedora (1st year)

Stadium: M.M. Roberts Stadium (33,000)

2007 Record: (7-6, 5-3 C-USA East)

Postseason: Lost to Cincinnati 31-21 in the PapaJohn’s.com Bowl

Key Returnees On Offense: TB Damion Fletcher, WRs Gerald Baptiste, Torris Magee, TE Shawn Nelson

Key Returnees On Defense: FS Eddie Hicks, CB C.J. Bailey, LBs Tokumbo Abanikanda, Gerald McRath

The Skinny: The Jeff Bower era ended at the close of the 2007 season after 14 straight winning seasons and 10 bowl appearances in 11 seasons. Replacing Bower is former Oklahoma State assistant Larry Fedora, who was on Mike Gundy’s staff for two seasons and previously at Florida as offensive coordinator under Ron Zook. On offense at quarterback Marteveious Young will be replacing Jeremy Young, who threw for 1,464 yards and 11 touchdowns. While they have inexperience at QB, they will welcome back Damion Fletcher, who ran for 1,586 yards last season and 15 touchdowns along with receivers Gerald Baptiste and Torris Magee. Magee led the team in receptions with 44 and receiving yards with 632. Along with Magee, tight end Shawn Nelson will be another important cog in the offense after a year in which he made 33 catches for 451 yards and led the team in touchdown receptions with 5. With the defense, they are going to have to rely on the leadership of linebackers Gerald McRath and Tokumbo Abanikanda. McRath led the team in tackles with 139 last season and earned Defensive Player of the Year in Conference USA.

Doc’s Prediction: After another bowl appearance by the Golden Eagles, it’s safe to say that once again the Golden Eagles will be back in another bowl for the 11th time in 12 seasons and a contender for the C-USA East crown. But while the schedule presents trips to Auburn in September, Memphis on my birthday, and Central Florida in November, plus home games against Boise State and East Carolina, anything short of a bowl trip will be unexpected in Hattiesburg.

Projected Record: 8-5 (5-3 C-USA East)

2008 Schedule

August 30th-UL Lafeyette

September 6th-@ Auburn

September 13th-@ Arkansas State

September 20th-Marshall

October 4th-UTEP

October 11th-Boise State

October 18th-@ Rice

October 25th-@ Memphis

November 1st-UAB

November 8th-@ Central Florida

November 15th-East Carolina

November 29th-@ Southern Methodist

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