Marshall-Southern Miss capsule
Marshall (2-4, 1-1) at Southern Mississippi (0-6, 0-2)
7 p.m. EDT today, M.M. Roberts Stadium (36,000, FieldTurf), Hattiesburg, Miss.
On the spot
Stats 'n' such
Southern Miss is 119th nationally in pass efficiency rating (96.29), but still 11th in the league (congratulations, SMU). The Eagles are last in C-USA in passing yardage (140.33), pass efficiency defense (151.16) and turnover margin (minus-9). Conversely, they lead in pass yardage allowed (212.33) and are second in kickoff returns (24.44).
1 Combined turnovers forced by either team. Don't laugh - Marshall has forced five turnovers in six games, while Southern Miss has just four takeaways. Will the first team to force a turnover win?
41/2 Cato's touchdown passes. UCF was the first team to not throw a TD vs. the Eagles, and that seemed to be luck of the draw. USM has given up 13.
94 Marshall scrimmage plays. Southern Mississippi's defense faced a season-high 82 last week at UCF, but there were two overtimes. The Eagles have tried to prepare for this, no doubt, but count on a culture shock.
Completely useless trivia
Brett Favre, a Southern Miss grad you might know, completed 613 of 1,169 for 7,695 yards with 52 touchdowns in 44 games (bowl games not included). To show the contrast in eras and offenses, MU's Cato has played just 19 games but has 400 completions in 616 attempts for 4,370 yards and 33 TDs. Favre averaged 26.6 attempts per game; Cato has exceeded that in either half of five games this season. . . . Wouldn't it be cool if Jimmy Buffet, Southern Miss Class of 1969, sang the national anthem tonight at "The Rock"? (He has done it at Cubs and Saints games.) Well, forget about it - he's performing tonight at the MGM Arena in Las Vegas.
Marshall goes home for the next two games, beginning with the last bout with nemesis Central Florida. That is an 8 p.m. start next Saturday, at the behest of CBS Sports Network. Southern Miss travels to Rice at 1 p.m. Saturday.