gtpdd’s Rivalry In Dixie Preview
Tomorrow afternoon at 2:30, the Bulldogs return to action against the hated Southern Miss Golden Eagles. But before you watch the game, there’s some stuff you need to know. That’s where we come in!
How to Watch
This game is on the NFL Network. You can get that with a free trial of Sling TV’s Blue Plan or PS Vue’s Core Plan with Sports add-on. If you’ve already used those free trials this year, just use a different email address and you should be good to go!
Other People’s Predictions
- ESPN FPI: Tech has a 52% chance to win
- Massey: Tech has a 54% chance to win
- Vegas: Pick’em
- S&P+: Tech wins, 31-30
- BleedTechBlue: Tech wins, 34-20
- NCAA 14 Simulation: Tech wins 35-21
Hey you! Yeah, you. If you haven’t gotten your answers in for this week’s gtpdd Contest, you should go do that now. Come back to read our nonsensical ramblings later!
CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE CONTEST PAGE!
What to Watch For
Evan: While everyone’s all fired up about the rematch between J’Mar and Jack Abraham (perhaps rightfully so), I’m over here worried sick about the special teams. Southern Miss is pretty good on offense and okay on defense… But their special teams are killing it so far this season.
The Golden Eagles are averaging 24.69 (nice) yards per kick off return, which is 23rd in the nation. They also average 11.27 yards per punt return, which is 37th nationally. But the truly terrifying thing about this is that junior WR Jaylond Adams has the speed and elusiveness to totally change games.
Adams has taken two kickoffs and one punt back to the house. He’s the only player in FBS this season with two kick off return TDs, and he’s also got a punt return! I’m not sure how my gtpdd bros missed this guy on the podcast, but they really shouldn’t have. Maybe they shouldn’t have killed me off!
Jaylond Adams returns the kickoff 1️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ yards! 💨@SouthernMissFB what is he eating for breakfast… 😳 pic.twitter.com/XUo1vjwTez— Conference USA (@ConferenceUSA) September 15, 2019
Anyway, on the other side of the ball, Tech has been average or below average covering kicks and punts. The Dogs allow 21 yards on kickoffs (68th), so that’s not terrible. But what scares me the most is that Bailey Hale seemingly can’t kick it into the endzone and get touchbacks. The Dogs have allowed 29 kick returns this season (129th), and only 3 touchbacks! That’s not great! On punts, Tech allows 10.5 yards per return, which is 98th in the country, but at least they’ve only allowed 4 total.
If Tech wants to win, they’re going to have to contain Jaylond Adams and the Southern Miss special teams units. If they don’t, it’ll be a long day.
Josh: The whole state of Mississippi can hold my nuts.
Evan: Jack Abraham’s gonna have a bad time. Amik gets his third pick six of the year.
Daniel S: Terry Bradshaw will show up out of nowhere in the third quarter to punch Brett Favre in the face.
Nathan: Golden Eagles aren’t even gold, they’re brown. So we should be calling this team the Brown Eagles. Oh, and if Tech can average at least 4.5 yards per rush on the ground, they win.
Daniel A: Tech hasn’t played a competent team since week one and it will show.
Southern Miss (originally called Mississippi Normal College) first played football shortly after the college’s founding. The college men’s first game in 1912 was against… the Hattiesburg Boy Scouts. Yeeeep. That’s right. Southern Miss’s first act as a football team was to beat up on a bunch of literal boys. They won the game 30-0, and went on to play against a local high school, Mississippi College, Ole Miss, and Southwestern LOLuisiana. Here’s a totally real and not made up power ranking of USM’s first opponents on the gridiron:
- Ole Miss
- Mississippi College
- Unnamed Local High School
- The grass at Kamper Park, where the Normalites played their games back then
- Hattiesburg Boy Scouts
- The missing arms of 2 of USM’s 13 players (15% of USM’s team only had one arm!!)
- Southwestern Louisiana
Evan: Look man, I really don’t know how to feel about this game. I know Tech can win. But will they? I’m not so sure. Defensively we’ve got to pressure Abraham or he’ll slice and dice. If we don’t allow home run plays to USM’s speedy wideouts, we should be good against the pass. Offensively we’ve got to be balanced. Running the ball effectively will be a key to giving J’Mar time to look down field. And I can’t stress this enough: We CANNOT allow USM to get points on special teams. If we do, we lose. As it stands though, I think Tech has an all around better squad that can (finally) get the job done against the Mustard Buzzards, if everything goes right.
Tech wins, 29-24
Josh: Once again, I have no idea how this game is going to go. It could be a close game that comes down to the wire, or Tech could really Tech it up and have a complete meltdown featuring several turnovers. Either way, I’m going to be in the stands, stressing out. The offense needs to keep the rushing attack going, which is something we haven’t been able to do in previous years against USM. Defense needs to key in on the passing game and force some turnovers. Special teams just has to not be a dumpster fire. I agree with Evan on a lot of the things he said and I think that Tech finally pulls it off this Saturday.
Tech wins, 28-26 and Josh probably strokes out sometime in the 3rd.
Daniel S: Every day I flip flop back and forth between thinking we will win and we will lose this weekend. This game is completely winnable, but Tech has lost far more winnable games in epic fashion in recent years. Right now the sad Tech fan in me says that Tech will once again lose to Southern Miss. I really hope I’m wrong but clearly USM has made a yearly sacrifice to the football gods to ensure that we have to endure a lifetime of soul crushing losses to the dirty birds. My prediction is that we will hold the lead late in the game but a late fumble puts them in position for a last second score to put them on top.
Tech loses 31-30 and I cry myself to sleep.
Nathan: Southern Miss is a good team. But so is Tech. This is the first game of the year where both teams are expected to be at the same level, so like everyone above me said, it could go either way. USM will probably win the passing battle, and Tech will probably win the rushing battle, but if Tech’s red zone defense is anywhere near as good as we think it is, the Bulldogs should win.
Tech wins 31-27