Southern Miss finishes up non-conference home slate with Troy this weekend

Published 3:21 pm Friday, September 17, 2021

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Southern Miss goes after its second-straight victory when they entertain Troy for its final non-conference home game this season, Saturday, at 6 p.m., at Carlisle-Faulkner Field at M.M. Roberts Stadium.

The Golden Eagles (1-1) enter the game having defeated Grambling State 37-0 as the program registered its first shutout in almost four years.

Freshman running back Frank Gore, Jr. (Miami, Fla.) rushed for a career-high 162 yards in that contest as the Golden Eagles amassed 439 total offensive yards – including 290 on the ground. Through two games, Gore, Jr., has 243 rushing yards and averages 6.1 yards per carry with one touchdown on the ground.

In the receiving department, sophomore Jakarius Caston (Natchez, Miss.) leads the way with seven catches for 88 yards, including a 17-yard scoring grab last weekend. Juniors Demarcus Jones (Vicksburg, Miss.) and Jason Brownlee (West Point, Miss.) are next with five catches apiece for 64 and 19 yards, respectively.

On the defensive side, sophomore Malik Shorts (Bassfield, Miss.) holds a team-best 10 tackles with three pass breakups, while junior Santrell Latham (Meridian, Miss.) ranks next with eight stops to go along with one forced fumble.

As a unit, the defense has limited its opponents to under 100 yards in each of the first two contests and allows just 220.5 offensive yards per game, which ranks No. 7 in the country in total defense.

Junior place kicker Briggs Bourgeois (St. Amant, La.) has been a bright spot in the special as has junior punter Mason Hunt (Wiggins, Miss.) on special teams. Bourgeois has converted 3-of-4 field goal attempts this season and all five extra points, while also tallying seven touchbacks over his 10 kickoffs. Hunt enjoys a 47.8 punt average over his first 11 boots, including a long of 58.

This game marks the 11th meeting between the two schools, dating back to the 1935 season with the Golden Eagles holding an 8-2 advantage. The teams combined for over 1,100 total offensive yards in the last meeting on Sept. 13, 2019, at Troy in which the Golden Eagles won 47-42.

The Trojans (1-1) enter the weekend having defeated Southern 55-3, before dropping a 21-13 decision to Liberty at home last weekend.

The Golden Eagles complete their non-conference portion of its slate when they travel to top-ranked Alabama, Saturday, Sept., 25, at 6:30 p.m., at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Tickets still remain for the 2021 home schedule and can be purchased by going online at, by calling 1-800-844-TICK (8425) or 601-266-5418, as well as emailing