Broncos headin’ down south: Southern Miss preview

Boise State is back on the road this weekend as they head to Hattiesburg, Miss. to take on the Golden Eagles of Southern Miss. The Broncos (3-1,0-0 in Mountain West) are coming off a second straight nail-biter win following a 32-29 victory over New Mexico. Distinct favorites, the Broncos led 25-0 at the half before New Mexico came roaring back, outscoring the Broncos 29-7 in the second half.

In contrast, Southern Miss (0-4) comes off a fourth straight loss, nearly upsetting 19th ranked Louisville before falling short 21-17 in the closing minutes in what is being dubbed as the “Monsoon Bowl” as the field received a torrential downpour of rain for its entirety.

Now the Broncos head to Hattiesburg to take on Southern Miss for the first time since 2008. The Broncos played at Southern Miss and came away with a 24-7 win. The Golden Eagles, a team under the direction of new head coach, former South Carolina assistant Ellis Johnson, possesses a lot of talent and is much stronger than their 0-4 record shows.

Southern Miss is an athletic team with the potential to cause problems for the Broncos’ defense. While nothing compares to the triple option of New Mexico, the way Southern Miss runs their spread offense can be very efficient if it is clicking on all
cylinders.

The Broncos had a very productive offensive night vs. New Mexico as they put up 514 total yards of offense led by junior redshirt quarterback Joe Southwick’s 311 yards passing and three touchdowns.

Last Saturday night also proved to be the breakout game of redshirt freshman running back Jay Ajai.

Ajai led the Broncos in rushing with 118 yards on six carries. The key for the Broncos will be sustaining the offensive efficiency for both halves against the Golden Eagles.

“This is a game of details,” said Southwick. “Details, that’s usually the difference between wins and losses.”

On the other side of the ball, the Broncos will try and take their defense from the first half which gave them a 25-0 lead over the Lobos before giving up 29 points in the second half. New Mexico picked up 330 yards on the ground against the Broncos’ defense and scored 14 unanswered points and would close the gap to three later on.

On the offensive side of the ball, Southern Miss has used three different quarterbacks this season as they have introduced the spread offense as their system of choice.

The Golden Eagles most tenured quarterback, junior Chris Campbell, has thrown for a total of 229 yards in three appearances this year.

One player to watch out for on the Golden Eagles offense is wide receiver and return man senior wide out Tracy Lampley. While Lampley’s stats are rather unimpressive this year, Head Football Coach Chris Petersen knows that he can be an X-factor for
Southern Miss.

“Really good, really electric,” said Petersen on Lampley’s play. “(He’s) one of those guys who is hard to tackle, looks like he’s going to break it every time he gets his hands on the ball.”

The Broncos will look to contain Lampley and take away the Golden Eagles’ quarterbacks’ main target.

The Broncos will look to move to 4-1 as they complete their non-conference schedule before diving into Mountain West play.

Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday at 12 p.m. ET. and will be aired on Fox
Sports Net.

About the author  ⁄ michaelsteen

michaelsteen

Steen has been all about sports since he could walk. Currently, he’s an avid golfer. Steen is currently the assistant sports editor for The Arbiter, and has been a sports writer since fall 2012. Steen is majoring in communication with an emphasis in media studies to work in public relations. He will graduate in December 2014. Steen feels Boise State sports have done wonders for putting Boise on the map. Steen is also a Twitter addict, so follow him on Twitter @michaelsteen2.