Haig and the Herd kickoff coverage had their best game of the year, possibly by a wide margin. Taking advantage of the lousy new kickoff rules, Haig is getting good hang time on his kicks and letting the cover team get downfield. Of 10 (!) kickoff returns, Southern Miss failed to reach the 20-yard line six times.
Who needs a stinkin' touchback?
Take double credit if you realized Southern Miss defensive coordinator Tommy West has been trampled by two 59-point Herd stampedes in two seasons.
Last season, he coordinated the defense at Alabama-Birmingham, which was buried 59-14 by the Herd at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Two games, 118 points against.
Joe DeForest, you are not alone.
West almost gets a pass for the UAB game. The Blazers coughed up the ball five times, putting the Herd offense near midfield or better most of the game. The Herd scored its points on just 429 total yards.
Saturday, Marshall rang up exactly 200 more yards on West's defense, which I thought was soft. The Herd's defense has been criticized for its tackling, but the Southern Miss effort was the worst I have seen this season - and a big reason the Golden Eagles are 0-7 and already out of the bowl running.
The first time West and Marshall crossed paths in Conference USA, the Herd gained just 154 total yards in a pitiful 26-3 loss at Memphis to finish the 2005 season. Saturday, the Herd topped that yardage by the 22nd of its 85 scrimmage plays.
I never thought I would see Marshall pound a Southern Miss team so thoroughly, and never thought I'd see the following written about the Eagles.
In his postgame press conference, still-winless coach Ellis Johnson questioned if some of his players really wanted to play football.
As seen in the Hattiesburg American: "There's no way we can perform in some of the areas that we did, the way we did, without an element of guys not finishing and going full speed. I just feel like some guys, when they really got challenged, that they backed off."
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130 or dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.