The Southern Miss football team scored 42 second-half points to rally past Old Dominion for a 56-31 win on Senior Day Saturday in Hattiesburg.
What we learned: The Golden Eagles haven't faced a lot of adversity over the last month or so, but they responded well when things didn't go well for them through the first 38 minutes of game action. USM was down 31-21 midway through the third and responded with four touchdowns in the span of seven minutes.
The USM offense got rolling when running backs Ito Smith and Jalen Richard both started picking up big chunks of yardage in the second half. Of USM's 385 second-half yards, 284 came on the ground.
Richard rushed 22 times for 161 yards and four touchdowns and sophomore Ito Smith had 15 carries for 125 yards and a score.
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Junior quarterback Nick Mullens didn't have his best game with an interception and a fumble returned for a touchdown, but he finished 21-of-37 for 302 yards and two touchdowns. He now holds the USM single-season records for touchdown passes (32) and passing yardage (3,578).
What's next: USM travels to Louisiana Tech at 11 a.m. on Saturday in one of the most meaningful regular season games in a long time for the Golden Eagles.
The winner of the game will take the Conference USA West and play the winner of Friday's Western Kentucky-Marshall game in the Conference USA title game on Dec. 5.
Louisiana Tech and USM have identical records at 8-3 and 6-1 in C-USA as both teams have handled the rest of the West mostly with ease.
The Bulldogs are led by senior quarterback Jeff Driskel, a transfer from Florida. Senior running back Kenneth Dixon has accounted for 972 yards and 17 touchdowns this season.