Southern Miss Fries Rice in Conference Home Opener

The following is an official press release courtesy of Southern Miss Athletics.

Southern Miss Football Report: Oct. 2, 2016

Record 4-1, 2-0 C-USA

Last Week
W, 44-28, vs. Rice (Carlisle-Faulkner Field at M.M. Roberts Stadium/Hattiesburg, Miss./28,325)

This Week

Saturday, Oct. 8 at UTSA, 11 a.m. CT (Alamodome/San Antonio, Texas/65,000, TV – ASN, Mike Gleason, play-by-play; ND Kalu, analyst)

Offensive Player of the Week Nomination

Junior WR Allenzae Staggers (6-1, 190, Woodville, Miss.)

With a tip of the cap to Southern Miss senior quarterback Nick Mullens who threw for a school-record 591 yards and four touchdowns, the offensive player of the week nominee for Southern Miss is Allenzae Staggers. Staggers caught six passes for a school-record 292 receiving yards (surpassing Kendrick Lee’s 260 against Houston on Nov. 9, 1996). His catches included touchdown receptions of 75, 81 and 93 yards. It was the first three TD receiving game for the program since Mike Thomas had that number against North Texas in 2015. Those scoring catches were the first three he made in the contest. According to ESPN Stats and Info, he is the first college player in 10 years to catch three 75-plus yard touchdowns in the same game. He also garnered an ESPN helmet sticker for his performance against the Owls, marking the first time that has happened for a Golden Eagle since 2013. His other catches included grabs of 19, 16 and eight yards for a 48.7 reception average. His receiving total for the game also ranks second all-time in Conference USA. This season, Staggers has 17 catches for 470 yards and five touchdowns, while the 93-yard reception marked the third longest pass play in Southern Miss history.

Defensive Player of the Week Nomination

Senior DL Dylan Bradley (6-1, 265, Macon, Miss.)

The defensive lineman tallied seven tackles including 3.5 sacks for 24 yards in the contest. His sack total against Rice ranks as the second most in a game by a Southern Miss player and the most since Jamie Collins tallied three against UAB in 2012. Bradley leads the team in tackles this season with 33, including a team bests of 9.5 TFLs and 5.0 sacks for 36 yards.

Special Teams Player of the Week Nomination

Redshirt Sophomore PK Parker Shaunfield (6-0, 170, Aledo, Texas)

Shaunfield continued his solid season by belting all three field goals and five extra points in the contest. He registered field goals of 22, 42 and 43 yards and now has hit all nine attempts this season to go along with a streak of 26-straight extra point makes to start the year. He added a kickoff for 57 yards in the contest. Five of his field goals have been from 40 yards and beyond this season.

Notes

• Southern Miss improved to 2-0 in C-USA in league play for the first time since 2004 as they extended their win streak in league regular-season games to eight. It was the 200th home game for the Golden Eagles since the stadium’s renovation dating back to 1976 and the program is 139-61 (.695) over that span.

  • The Golden Eagles opened the season 4-1 for the first time since 2011.
  • Golden Eagle coach Jay Hopson is the first Southern Miss rookie coach to win four of his first five games since Curley Hallman in 1988. That squad finished 10-2.
  • With the win over Rice, the squad’s winning streak versus Texas schools reached seven contests.
  • The 702 yards of offense against the Owls broke the school record which was previously set at Rice (682) in 2015. It also set a new M.M. Roberts Stadium record, breaking the 654 mark against Rice in 2011. Four of Southern Miss’ seven 75-plus yard plays on the year came against the Owls.
  • Those four included Julian Allen’s career-long 82-yard catch and Allenzae Staggers’ receptions of 75, 81 and 93 yards.
  • Nick Mullens’ 591 yards passing shattered Austin Davis’ previous school record of 461 yards at Rice in 2008. He now has three of the top four passing games in Golden Eagle history. Mullens has now thrown a touchdown in 21 straight games.  In addition, he has tossed for 200 yards or more in 31 games and thrown for over 300 yards 15 times in his career and 400 or more yards three times. The senior QB also went over the 10,000-yard passing mark in the contest and now has 10,226.
  • Ito Smith has now scored a touchdown (rushing or receiving) in 10 straight games.
  • Southern Miss posted seven sacks against the Owls, its most since having seven at Marshall in 2009.
  • The Golden Eagles entered Saturday No. 8 nationally in passing yards allowed (144.8 per game) and held Rice to 166.
  • D’Nerius Antoine’s game-high 11 tackles were a career-high.

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