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.
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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.