Texas El Paso Miners vs. Southern Miss Golden Eagles
The Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles celebrate their top 25 ranking with a visit to the Texas El Paso Miners in CUSA action. The Golden Eagles ripped off victory number five in a row with a 27-3 decision over Southern Methodist while the Miners defeated Colorado State 31-17 for back to back wins. The Golden Eagles are -9.5 favorites over the Miners with an over/under point total set at 55.
After struggling through the opening two weeks of the season Southern Mississippi has suddenly been putting everything together to become a real threat in the CUSA. However this team doesn’t have any room for error and haven’t been making many as of late. The Golden Eagles knocked off Southern Methodist totaled 453 yards with the ability to run and pass while rolling up 28 first downs and going 8 of 14 on third down conversions. The rushing attack produced nearly 190 yards and averaged over 4 ½ yards per tote mostly through the work of Jamal Woodyard and his 116 yards on just 12 carries with one touchdown. Quarterback Austin Davis added 31 yards with his legs but was highly effective in the passing game where he went 27 of 37 for 266 yards with a scoring toss and a pick but connected with nine different receivers in an intermediate attack that the Mustangs secondary had trouble containing. The USM defense gave up 330 yards with a pair of interceptions with one returned for six.
Texas El Paso used a big play offense and stifling defense to down Colorado State for their second straight win where the offense and defense have been on the same page. The Miners racked up 456 yards but only were faced with nine third downs because of their penchant for the big play. The ground game was dominant with 360 yards on 36 totes for just under 9 ½ yards a shot. Vernon Frazier was the most explosive with 167 yards on seven carries with a pair of touchdown jaunts. Leilyon Myers followed with another 81 yards while quarterback Nick Lamaison and Joe Banyard combined for 81 yards on 12 tries. With the rushing attack having so much success Lamaison didn’t have to go to the air very often with only 15 attempts with eight completions for 116 yards with a touchdown and interception. The UTEP defense turned in one of their better performances of the season while limiting Colorado State to 245 yards, 4 of 16 on third down and forcing a pair of giveaways.
Texas El Paso is one of those teams that you think you have figured out and than they perform the opposite of what is expected whether it be on offense or defense. Southern Mississippi was hard to figure out in their first two games but have been terrors since. If the Golden Eagles perform as they have been they will be tough to handle and I think they win this. The spread does make me uncomfortable with a Texas El Paso squad that can be unpredictable
Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles -9.5 Texas El-Paso Miners