Southern Miss Football completes non-conference schedule at No. 1 Alabama on Saturday

Published 10:44 am Friday, September 24, 2021

Southern Miss faces a tough task for its final 2021 non-conference football game when they travel to No. 1 Alabama, Saturday, for a 6:30 p.m. contest at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.

The game will air on the SEC Network as well as be heard on one of the affiliates of the Southern Miss Sports Network by Learfield.

This contest marks only the second time the Golden Eagles have ever faced the No. 1 team in the country – as ranked by the Associated Press – with the other time coming against the Crimson Tide during the 1980 season. The Golden Eagles, which were ranked No. 20 in that contest 41 years ago, dropped a 42-7 decision to Alabama that day.

As we head into this weekend, Southern Miss sports a defense that has been outstanding through its first three contests.

The Golden Eagle defensive unit has limited their opponents to just 43.7 rushing yards, which ranks No. 2 nationally in the Football Bowl Subdivison and also holds a No. 12 ranking in total defense by allowing only 248.3 yards per contest.

Leading the way individually has been Malik Shorts, who has either tied or led the squad in tackles over the last two games. He has amassed a season team-high 17 tackle total with one tackle for loss and a team-best six pass breakups in the defensive backfield. Linebacker Santrell Latham and defensive back Jay Stanley each rank second on the squad with 13 tackles apiece.

On the offensive side, Frank Gore, Jr., averages 91.3 rushing yards per game and has led the squad in all-purpose yards in all three contests. Receiver Jason Brownlee leads the team in catches with eight, while freshman quarterback Ty Keyes is slated to make his second career start at quarterback.

Keyes became the eighth true freshman to start at quarterback for the Golden Eagles since 1987 last week against Troy. The others include Brett Favre (1987), Aaron Hightower (1992), Damion Carter (2003), Anthony Alford (2012), Nick Mullens (2013), Keon Howard (2016) and Tate Whatley (2018).

Following the Alabama contest, the Golden Eagles open their 26th season of Conference USA play when they travel to Houston to take on Rice, Saturday, Oct., 2, at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets still remain for the 2021 C-USA home schedule and can be purchased by going online at SouthernMissTickets.com, by calling 1-800-844-TICK (8425) or 601-266-5418, as well as emailing ticket.office@usm.edu.