The Southern Miss football team rolled to a 65-10 victory at Rice Saturday to stay in the hunt for a C-USA West title.
What we learned
The Golden Eagles are peaking at the right time with two games remaining in the regular season.
USM set a school record with 682 yards of offense Saturday and could have put up many more, but head coach Todd Monken put in the backups midway through the third quarter.
USM quarterback Nick Mullens completed 23-of-31 passes for 386 yards and five touchdowns to tie the school record for touchdown passes in a season at 30. The Golden Eagles also set the program record for most points in a single quarter with 35 in the second to lead 42-0 at halftime.
Both Casey Martin and Mike Thomas cleared 100 yards receiving. Martin pulled in six catches for 109 yards; Thomas caught five passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns - 50 and 51 yards.
Southern Miss (7-3, 5-1) hosts Old Dominion (5-5, 3-3) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the final home game of the season.
With Saturday's win, Southern Miss can clinch the C-USA West and a spot in the conference title game with a victory at Louisiana Tech on Nov. 28.
While the La. Tech game looms large, USM needs to build on its current momentum with a win over ODU, which needs one more win to earn bowl eligibility.
The Golden Eagles rank 11th in the nation in total offense at 525.1 yards a game. ODU is averaging 379.2 yards a game this season.
Junior David Washington has taken over as the ODU quarterback and he completed 26-of-42 passes for 291 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's 31-21 win over UTEP. Ray Lawry is ODU's leading rusher with 190 carries for 1,128 yards and 11 scores.