After being one of four bowl eligible teams to get snubbed from actually going to a bowl game in 2018, Southern Miss is now just one win away from getting back to that six-win plateau in 2019, but right now that’s small fries.
Instead, the Golden Eagles are still preoccupied with trying to win their first Conference USA West Division title since 2015 and their first league championship since 2011.
Despite a mid-October loss to Louisiana Tech, USM remains very much in the hunt pending the result of Saturday’s home showdown against the reigning champion UAB Blazers.
So isn’t it funny, the heartbreak of last year’s post-season absence no longer the main character as the Black and Gold give chase to something far greater against a rival they know all too well. Quarterback Jack Abraham said, “There’s always that unsaid message that it’s UAB. It’s a big game. It’s a rivalry. And we definitely treat this game a little differently because it’s a big game for us and obviously for conference championship implications, we’ve just got to go out there and play ball.”
Wide receiver Tim Jones said, “Looking at last year’s game, it was a heartbreaker. It was a couple plays, really, that we messed up on and we could have won the game. But coming in this year, we’ve just got to have minor mistakes, no mistakes. And to beat them, that’ll put us on top I think.”
Fresh off its second bye week of the season, a relatively healthy Southern Miss will host UAB at the rock at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
If USM really wants to win the west, now would be a great time for them to end their current three-game losing streak to the Blazers.