Southern Miss

5 to Watch: Top playmakers on the Southern Miss offense

The Southern Miss offense has made immense improvement over last year’s team and a handful of players have put up big numbers.

Junior quarterback Nick Mullens is the man who makes the offense go, but he’s seen much better play out of the skill players around him.

Here are USM’s five best playmakers on offense through four games:

RB Jalen Richard: Most of his yardage comes in his breakout 230-yard, four touchdown performance at Texas State, but the senior is a key cog in the offense with three starts this season. When Richard is on the field, his versatility allows USM to run any play it likes. Stats: 62 rushes for 349 yards, five touchdowns.

WR Casey Martin: After a slow start against Mississippi State, Martin has been one of the best receivers in Conference USA. He is again the most reliable receiver and he has become more of a big play threat. Stats: 25 catches for 303 yards, four scores.

RB Ito Smith: The sophomore has become a big play threat carrying the ball and catching it. He’s much more explosive this season with an average of 7.8 yards a carry. Stats: 36 carries for 281 yards, two touchdowns.

WR D.J. Thompson: The redshirt junior may be the most improved player on the team this season. After suffering from a case of the drops early in his career, Thompson is catching the ball well. Stats: 14 catches for 231 yards, two touchdowns.

WR Mike Thomas: After being limited with an early injury, Thomas had a breakout game at Nebraska with five catches for 123 yards. Stats: 11 catches for 181 yards.