The Rivalry in Dixie is renewed this Saturday in Ruston. Southern Miss (4-2) travels to Louisiana Tech (3-3) for the 48th meeting between the two schools. Louisiana Tech won the first matchup in 1935, and Southern Miss won the last in 2016. All in all, the Golden Eagles lead the series, 33-15.
“Both teams are in the same division and both are playing for the same thing. (As for rivalries) That’s for the fans,” Southern Miss head coach Jay Hopson said. “For us, we know we have another good football team we have to play. That’s the reality of it. That’s the C-USA theme. You go in, look at the film and have another good football team to play and Tech is a good football team.”
Hopson’s Golden Eagles have won two-straight and are coming off a 24-0 win over UTEP. Keon Howard threw for 221 yards and a touchdown, while Ito Smith ran for 129 and two scores. Defensively, Southern limited UTEP to 147 yards.
“Again, I thought we played well on defense Saturday,” Hopson said. “Offensively we had a lot of explosive plays and some of them were called back, but I thought we did a good job on explosive plays. On special teams, we had a few difference makers there. For the whole we played hard and got the W.”
On the other side, Louisiana Tech has lost two of their last three games. The Bulldogs were off last week on a bye following a last-second loss to UAB on Oct. 7. Regardless of records, Hopson says his Golden Eagles have a tough challenge on their hands.
“(They are a) good football team,” Hopson said. “I feel like this every week in Conference USA. You turn on the film and you know you have good football teams coming into town. There’s a lot of parity in the league and a lot of good football teams. We need a good week in preparation and we know it will be a tough game.”
Kickoff of Southern Miss-Louisiana Tech is scheduled for 6 pm at Joe Aillet Stadium in Ruston, LA.