Southern Miss Golden Eagles 2023 College Football Preview

Southern Miss Golden Eagles 2023 College Football Preview

July 3, 2023

2022 Recap

Record – 7-6

ATS – 10-3

Southern Miss showed some meaningful improvement as they more than doubled their win total from the previous season when they finished 3-9. The Golden Eagles were 5-3 at one point with a victory in the bank over Tulane (!) when they hit the skids and dropped three straight. They won their season finale vs ULM and then took down Rice in the LendingTree Bowl by a convincing tally of 38-24.

Can the Golden Eagles contend for a divisional crown in year three of the Will Hall experiment?

Southern Miss Golden Eagles 2023 Outlook


Yes, guy.

The Golden Eagles have superstar RB Frank Gore returning for duty and that means trouble for the rest of the Sun Belt (1,382, 6.1, 9 TD; 20 receptions LY). Exhibit A. Gore set the record for most rushing yards in a bowl game (329) on just 21 carries in the win over the Owls LY. Memphis transfer Dreke Clark will be a solid backup for Gore. The yuuuge question mark is at QB, and the Golden Eagles hope that one of a intriguing transfers pan out (Billy Wiles, Clemson; Holman Edwards, Houston). It seems like Southern Miss has gone through 23 QBs over the last few seasons so hopefully these guys can provide some stability. The majority of folks are back at WR other than LY’s #1 weapon Jason Brownlee (891, 8 TD). Four starters are retained up front and there are a bunch of BIG ‘UNS on the roster. We’re pretty excited about the potential for the offense, but let’s be honest. it’s hard to fully trust a QB situation when talking about this program. Just kidding. Not really.


The Golden Eagles ranked #8 in the Sun Belt vs the run LY and #6 in pass efficiency D. They gave up some yards along the way but relied on havoc to get the ball back for the offense (17 INT, #2 Sun Belt; 44 sacks, #4 FBS). There’s gonna be some tweaking on defense as Southern Miss must replace their top-three (!) tacklers as well as their leading sack producer in Dominic Quewon (10). They’ll also be working with a new DC. The best news is that Southern Miss brings back three starters up front and they should be stout and provide adequate PENETRATION. The LB unit will be happy to see Hayes Maples back in the lineup as he missed LY due in injury (#2 tackler 2021) but they did lose some talented bodies at the position. If there’s a problem area on defense it’s probably the secondary as they’ll move on without three starters from the 2022 team. We project Southern Miss to be good, but not “great” on defense this season.


DANGER! DANGER! Southern Miss has to find replacements for their excellent PK/punter duo and recall that Briggs Bourgeois hit 18/19 FGA in 2022. Tiaquelin Mims did a good job on KR LY (23.4).

Schedule Analysis

Overall – The non-conference assignments are nasty on the whole as they have to face Florida St (A), Tulane (H), and Mississippi St (A). They also have to deal with a four-in-five road stretch starting in mid-October. The season finale vs Troy in Hattiesburg just might have title game implications. GET CHO POPCONE!

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at Mississippi St (Nov 18)

This is the end of the aforementioned series of five contests in which they have to play four ON THE HIGHWAY. It won’t be a great spot for Miss St either (Ole Miss on deck} but the Golden Eagles might be a bit weary at this point, and they’ve got Troy up next.

Season Win Total

Market consensus July 3

Over 5 -110

Under 5 -110


Lean: Over

That seems like a good number as we can’t see these guys going 4-8. We believe that five wins is a realistic floor, unless of course the QB DEBACLE rears it’s ugly head once again.

MEGAmazing Tidbit

Former HC Curley Hallman had the honor of coaching the great BRETT FAVRE during his time in Hattiesburg and he boasts the highest winning percentage (.676) in school history. Hallman left the program to become the head coach at LSU (!) and had a rough time in Baton Rogue before getting kicked to the curb (16-28, .364).


This should be a fun season for Southern Miss fans. They’ve got one of the best RBs in college football on the roster and the defense will be good enough to keep them in most games. Of course, the season could go GLUG GLUG GLUG down the drain if they struggle at the QB position, but we don’t think that’ll happen. We expect to see the Golden Eagles in a bowl game and believe they’re a legit SURPRISE PACKAGE to contend in the West.