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Thread Author GoVolsKickSomeA Post Entries
Quote Originally Posted by squids:

GoVols i cant speak for others but i have been on Covers for quite some time now and your write up was the best write up i have read in years. All week i have been leaning on Southern Miss but your points were very informative and accurate(i checked). I see you only have a handful of posts so i hope to be reading your posts more frequently. Thanks again and Happy Holidays to all my Covers Brothers

long time reader, first time poster (as far as predictions, heres hoping they pan out)
basically i just didnt wanna see the whole world jump off the Southern Miss cliff. Not they they arent a great team, but with potentially too much weight being placed on the CUSA championship, I just that I felt Nevada also had a lot going for them in this matchup that needed some pointing out.
Vs Houston, Southern Miss had 3 non-offensive scores (which was the MOV). Houston never led, the closest was a 14-14 tie in the 2nd, and they were down by 2 TDs most of the 2nd half. They had to abandon the run, and they really arent a running team anyway. pass 1st, pass 2nd.

vs UCF, they were having Qb issues. Godfrey was out and the backup (a true froshie i believe) was playin in his place. Easy to key on the run. The Knights were still a missed 2-pt conversion away from winning the game.

vs SMU, this was a good win, but Southern Miss was again up by 17 in the 4th, SMU had to abandon the run. SMU had 3 drives end in INT, INT, and a missed FG. Southern Miss also has another pick-6 to put more pressure on the SMU passing game. Of the 150+ the Zach Line did put up, most of the damage was done in a little over 2 1/2 quarters

Navy averaged 10+ yards per carry. The only reason they lost was because they cant play pass D. Austin Davis was a crazy 21-of-23. Nevada plays waaaaaay better pass D than that, if they even come close to half of what Navy averaged they will have a great shot to pull the upset.

Vs the Cavs, Virginia also held Southern Miss to 1.9 YPC and a horrible 10-21 on 2rd downs.
Quote Originally Posted by ako12n:

WOW!!!!! line went from 7 --> 8.5 --> 9... THEN back down to 7.5 --> 7... 

what the hell is going on!!! This game isnt that big!!!! there is NFLtoday ... why the crazy line movement? 

im confused. 

I posted my pick
For more see


Nevada doesn’t really use the middle of the field; they tend to suck defenses in with the ground game then attack deep on the edges. The pistol offense features a ground attack that is more potent than anything Southern Miss has seen in a while outside of the service academies, but unlike the option, the pistol really sets up the deep ball where you can expect big lanky Wolfpack WR Rishard Matthews to be licking his chops when he sees single coverage. When the Southern Miss safeties inevitably collapse down to help with the run, Matthews has a considerable size advantage on the outside. He measures 6-2 and somewhere in the 220 range. Both starting Southern Miss CBs are each maybe 5-10, 180 lbs. Factor in wingspan and its more like 6+ inches to go along with 40+ pounds. How effective is this strategy? Southern Miss has a high octane passing offense and a great senior QB, they are completing about 60% of their passes. Nevada checks in at about a 69% percent completion rate, #15 in the nation. And they do not have a Heisman finalist on their roster as do most of the teams ahead of Nevada.

All in all, Nevada might not pass for as many yards as Southern Miss, but make no mistake the Pack is going to be taking their fair shots down field which will either result in big plays for the Pack or lead to more running room for the Nevada ground attack which will lead to longer clock-eating drives. All together, Nevada has 6 guys who have 20+ catches and are also averaging over 12 yards per grab. Southern Miss has only 3 guys who fit that bill.

Southern Miss is getting all the defensive praise from most outlets, but do not discount the Nevada D. Their Pass D is middle-of-the-pack from a yardage standpoint, same as Southern Miss. Nevada allows about 226 per game, Southern Miss about 233. But in other areas Nevada really shines. Pass completion percentage allowed for instance. Nevada is #2 in the nation just a hair behind Alabama at 48.9%. Southern Miss checks in at a still decent but way down the list 58.2% allowed. Both teams still should be able to move the ball on each other through the air, but it would be a mistake to assume that QB Austin Davis and Southern Miss are just going to be able to bomb away at will on Nevada.

And last but not least, there is the Motivation angle, which I see working against Southern Miss in a few different ways.

1)       That Houston win was HUGE for the program, arguably way bigger than any bowl win. Will they be focused? Nevada also could be a bit disappointed after having the WAC title in their hands in early November, but they have had more time to digest things. Southern Miss could still be on cloud 9.

2)       The islands. I believe this is Southern Miss’s first trip to Hawaii? Lots of distractions for young 20-somethings. Nevada plays Hawaii here every other year.

3)       And lastly, Nevada might want to erase some bad memories of their last bowl trip here. They were embarrassed in this very same game 2 years ago and might have extra motivation to skip those luaus.

This should be a fun game with plenty of fireworks. Neither D should be able to completely shut down the other’s offense which should make the game competitive throughout. But I like the big play ability of the Pack air attack just a little bit more, all the moreso with the Nevada rushing advantage. On the other side Southern Miss has really made their season with defensive turnovers, specifically INTs. With Nevada playing a more vertical style than what the Eagles have seen in CUSA play, I think any defensive advantage Southern Miss might have by the numbers will get nerfed a little bit..

At the end of the day, I am gonna mildly call for the upset, 34-31 Nevada


This game might not be what is seems. First things first, let’s look at that 7-5 record for Nevada. Delving into the L’s, we see that 2 of those losses were to Boise and Oregon, no shame there. There are probably about 115 other teams in the nation that would also be 0-2 vs those juggernauts. That leaves 3 real earned losses, a 1-point loss to Texas Tech in a shoot out (hello, its Texas Tech), and a pair of consecutive 4-point losses to Louisiana Tech and Utah State. LT and USU of course are bowling this season, TT just missed it at 5-7 but Nevada faced the Raiders early in the season, when they were still beat-Oklahoma-good, before they were ravaged by injuries. Nevada led in the 4th Q in all 3 games.

Vs TT, it was a 14 point lead midway through the 3rd. The Pack almost managed to hang on for the W but gave up the game winning TD on a 4th down desperation play with seconds left on the clock that got extended with a scramble.

Vs LT, it was a 17 point 4th Q lead that just evaporated. LT QB Colby Cameron (who didn’t play with LT faced Southern Miss in Week 1) threw for three 4th Q TDs.

Vs Utah State, the Pack had a lead most of the game only to see the Aggies take a late lead in the 4th. Nevada had countered and was driving inside the 10 for the winning score before an ill timed fumble by backup QB Tyler Lantrip cost them the game (starting QB Cody Fajardo had been knocked out of the game).

So yes, Nevada is technically a 5-loss team, but toss out the obvious mismatches of Oregon and Boise and they hare preformed more like a 3-loss team, and those 3 losses were all to bowl-quality teams, and in all 3 cases, Nevada led most of the game. While it’s never a good thing to lose, I at least wouldn’t call any of those 3 a bad loss.

Now let’s look at Southern Miss. Everyone will point to the CUSA championship game vs Houston, but over the whole body of work the record is a bit less impressive. 11-2, but the 2 losses to punchless Marshall and hapless UAB are somewhat surprising.

Vs Marshall Southern Miss led early but let the Herd put up 23 unanswered (including a safety!!!). Marshall was not very good on O or D this season, yet they held Southern Miss to only 20 points.

Vs UAB the Blazers either had the lead or were tied most of the game, putting up 425 yards of offense on Southern Miss. There were games this season where UAB didn’t crack 200 yards of total offense (Literally, 2-11 Tulane held UAB to 193 yards of offense, and Tulane is horrible).

OK, so the Marshall loss looks a lot better after their bowl win, but let’s be honest, they still are not a very good team. And I would call the UAB an outright bad loss. An inexcusable loss really.

The one common opponent was Louisiana Tech, but the Bulldogs were a vastly different team in W12 when they beat Nevada (24-20) with Colby Cameron as QB than they were in Week 1 when they lost to Southern Miss (17-19) during the Nick Isham experiment.

So despite the absolute Win-Loss records, these 2 bodies of work are both pretty similar, maybe even advantage Nevada.

Now let’s go inside the box.

Folks are going to point to the Southern Miss defense first, mainly because of how they were really able to shutdown Houston but also for their impressive 3.2 YPC allowed this season.

First, let’s tackle the YPC. Conference USA is a pass-first and in some cases pass-second and even pass-third kind of league. There are no real rushing attacks in this league. When they did face a real rushing attack in Navy they gave up 421 in the ground (Southern Miss still won because Navy cannot stop the pass at all this season). Big deal you say? Navy runs on everyone you say? Well, true, but the Middies had their highest rushing output this year against Southern Miss for whatever that’s worth.

The only ‘normal’ offenses that feature any semblance of a running game would be Virginia and SMU. Now yes it is true that Southern Miss won both of those games but they did not exactly stop the run in either contest. Undersized Perry Jones averaged 5.0 YPC for the Cavs and bruiser Zach Line averaged about 7.5. Nevada is averaging almost 5.3 YPC as a team, and the 3 main rushing threats are even more potent than that: QB Fajardo averaging 5.6, RB Lampford Mark is at 5.7 and backup RB Stephon Jefferson is at 6.1

I will put the rushing advantage with Nevada.

2nd, lets look at the pass D. The Eagles have been able to get wins in many games thanks to a bend-but-make-the-big-play pass D that is great at forcing turnovers in the middle of the field.