A Look Back: The 2015 Southern Miss Golden Eagles
By: Tony Thomas
September 21, 2019
The 2015 Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles were an offensive machine under head coach Todd Monken during his final year at the helm and posted some impressive numbers on both offense and defense.
The Golden Eagles offense was led by Jr. QB Nick Mullens. Mullens passed for 4476 yards and 38 TD’s and 12 INT’s. His primary target was Sr. WR Michael Thomas, who racked up 1391 yards and 14 TD’s.
The running game was also spectacular, producing two 1000 yard backs.
Sr. RB Jalen Richard rushed for 1098 yards and 14 TD’s and So. RB Ito Smith ran for 1128 yards and 10 TD’s, and also added 49 catches for another 515 yards and 3 TD’s.
At mid-season, the Golden Eagles went on a 6-game winning streak. During that streak, the offense produced the following:
- Outscored their opponents 234-88.
- 2077 yards passing and 22 TD’s.
- 1291 yards rushing and 15 TD’s.
- Scored over 50 points three times.
For the season, Southern Miss accounted for 7,133 yards of total offense.
The Golden Eagles were aggressive and made plays on the defensive side of the ball as well. Led by D’Nerius Antoine and his 103 tackles, the defense as a unit made 13 INT’s, produced 32 sacks and accounted for 95 tackles for loss. They also forced 24 turnovers, including 7 (4 INT’s and 3 fumbles) in one game in a 58-24 win against La. Tech.
Southern Miss finished the year with a 9-5 record and a loss to Washington in the Heart Of Dallas Bowl, losing by a score of 44-31. Coach Monken left the program to become an assistant coach for the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Jalen Richard and Michael Thomas would both go on to the NFL. Richard signed with the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted free agent. Thomas was a 6th round selection of the Los Angeles Rams in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Thanks for reading.