HATTIESBURG, Miss. — Southern University held Southern Miss to 10 points in the second half but was unable to overcome the Golden Eagles’ 35-point first half in a lopsided 45-0 loss at M.M. Ross Stadium Saturday night.
Southern Miss offense produced 477 yards on 74 plays from scrimmage and relied on a senior ladened defense to hold Southern to 140 total yards while forcing two turnovers.
With three-year starter Austin Howard out due to injury, Southern offense struggled against the Golden Eagle defense as true freshman Glendon McDaniel made his first career start. It was the first time a Jaguar player other than Howard started for SU since Deonte Shorts replaced Howard during his freshman campaign on Oct. 25, 2014 against Jackson State.
McDaniel completed 5-for16 pass attempts for 22 yards with two interceptions. Redshirt freshman Marquez Lee entered the game in the second half and generated some offense going 5-for-10 for 56 yards. Devon Benn led the Jaguars with 42 rushing yards on eight carries while freshman Jamar Washington hauled in three receptions for 36 yards.
Five of the Jaguars first six drives ended after Southern failed to convert on third down. As a team, Southern average third down yards to gain was 12.3 yards in the first half. Southern converted its initial first down with 9:46 in the second quarter on Herb Edwards 13-yard rush.
Southern Miss struck first after SU punter Taylor Merritt mishandled the snap on fourth down and Southern Miss cornerback Rachuan Mitchell recovered the fumble in the Jaguars end zone to give the Golden Eagles a 7-0 lead.
Southern watched as the Golden Eagles reeled off three more touchdowns on drives of 69, 12 and 50 to take a commanding 28-0 first quarter lead. Kwadra Griggs completed a 26-yard pass to Quez Watkins with 5:53 left before halftime to push the Golden Eagles lead to 35-0.
Three plays into the third quarter, McDaniels errant pass found Southern Miss cornerback Cornell Armstrong who raced 46-yard untouched into the end zone. The Golden Eagles final points came on a Parker Shaunfied 28-yard field goal at the end of the third quarter.
Despite the final score, Southern played a number of young players while resting several veterans including Herb Edward and Danny Johnson in the second half.
Southern will return to Baton Rouge to regroup before venturing west of the Mississippi River to challenge another Football Bowl Subdivision opponent in the UT-San Antonio Roadrunners in the Alamodome.
Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m.