Coach: Jeff Bower
59-43-1, 9 years
1999 Record: 9-3
Sep 06 Tulane Won 48-14
Sep 11 Northwestern State Won 40-6
Sep 18 @Nebraska Lost 13-20
Sep 25 @Texas A&M Lost 6-23
Oct 09 @East Carolina Won 39-22
Oct 16 Army Won 24-0
Oct 23 Cincinnati Won 28-20
Oct 30 @Alabama Lost 14-35
Nov 06 @Memphis Won 20-5
Nov 13 Louisiana-Lafayette Won 48-0
Nov 20 @Louisville Won 30-27
Dec 31 Colorado State Won 23-17
1999 Final Rankings
AP-14,  BCS-NR,  Coaches-13
2000 Outlook

The 1999 season found Coach Bower and his Golden Eagle troops ranked 13th in the country when all was said and done. The highest ranking ever. Southern Miss went 6-0 in Conference USA winning the league crown for a third time in four seasons and has won 21 or their last 23 conference games. There is a touch of Top 10 fever in every Golden Eagle coach and fan, but to reach that plateau the team will have to step up and knock off one of the non-conference big boys USM continues to schedule every season. 2000 will be no different as three road games in a row are on the menu to start the season. Games at Tennessee, Alabama, and Oklahoma State will be tough going. The Alumni will be treated to a great November closing on senior day as the Pirates of ECU come to Hattiesburg to play in what will be for the conference title. Assuming the Eagles find a playmaker on both sides to replace Slaughter, Thomas, Gideon, and Pinkston, USM will be very good again. Too many people take this team for granted. When the smoke clears after the fall, Southern Miss will be making its fourth consecutive bowl appearance.
Projected record: 9-3

Southern Miss 2000 Schedule

QB - 4 DL - 3
RB - 4 LB - 2
WR - 2.5 DB - 4
OL - 2  



Strengths: The Golden Eagles retain an offense that features a quarterback that threw for over 2000 yards and a running back that ran for over 1000 last season. Junior Jeff Kelly became only the third QB in school history to pass for that many and junior Derrick Nix completed his second straight year rushing for over a grande. The young offensive line that mostly played as freshman in 1999 return some athleticism up front and should be improved with one year under their belt. At wide out, senior Shawn Mills returns for his senior year after finishing as the teams third leading receiver in 1999 with 23 catches for a 10.8 yard average.
Weaknesses: The hardest part will be replacing the best two receiver combo in Conference USA in Sherrod Gideon and Todd Pinkston, both of whom tallied 88 catches for nearly 1500 yards last year. The offensive line is still young and had a terrible time coming together last season as USM finished ranked 82nd overall in total offense amoungst division I-A teams as Kelly threw 11 int's. Overall, the Eagles will need to build chemistry and keep making progress on the OL, develop depth at wide receiver and get better play out of the tight end position. Adding some kinks to that mix is the fact that Coach Bower has fired all three of last seasons offensive coaches including the coordinator. So look for a new offense to be installed. Also, lineman Tre' Chambers has left the team to spend time with his family.
QB Jeff Kelly 6-1 185 Jr.   Bobby Garner 6-3 205 So.
RB Derrick Nix 6-2 228 Jr.   Dawayne Woods 5-9 188 Jr.
WR Dannye Fowler 5-10 188 Jr. John Floyd 6-5 215 So.
WR Shawn Mills 6-0 185 Sr. Corey Hosey 6-2 190 Fr.
WR LeRoy Handy 6-2 185 So. Ali Aliherimi 5-11 180 Jr.
T Jeremy Bridges 6-4 305 So. Jason Jimenez 6-7 290 So.
G Billy Clay 6-4 270 Sr. Jim Hicks 6-5 270 Fr.
C Zeb Landers 6-3 275 So. Jim Hicks 6-5 270 Fr.
G Dan Reber 6-7 290 So. Dennis Evans 6-4 280 Sr.
T Torrin Tucker 6-6 315 So. Adam Gardner 6-7 295 Fr.
TE Buck Miciotto 6-3 255 So. Orlando Dantzler 6-4 265 So.
K Brant Hanna 6-2 202 Jr.
Returning starters in bold.

Key Losses: Sherrod Gideon-WR, Todd Pinkston-WR, Shederick Blackmon-OL, Brian Bell-OL, Brian Balazik-QB, Cable Davis-QB, Josh Gulley-WR, Tre' Chambers-OL

Strengths: Opponents found that gaining ground up front against the Eagles running with the football was quite difficult in 1999 as Southern Miss finished ranked 8th nationally in rush defense and total defense giving up a stingy 91.5 yards per game. All-American Candidate Cedric Scott will try and lead the way for another talented defensive front four. The defensive backs could possibly be the strength of the defensive unit as huge expectations are in order with safety Leo Barnes blazing the way. Three out of four starters are back as Chad Williams and Ray Walls return to the lineup assisting Barnes.

Weaknesses: There are holes that need plugged on defense. Departing seniors Thomas, Slaughter, and Trahan are huge losses. A replacement will need to be found to put some heat on the QB as all time sack master Adalius Thomas leaves Hattiesburg finishing with 9 sacks in '99. Dedric Scott, another of the Scott tandem, will lace up for his senior year at defensive end. Beyond that there is not much experience or depth. The 2000 linebacking crew needs some newcomers to step up as team leading tackler T.J. Slaughter is gone as well as another great LB Ty Trahan.

DE Cedric Scott 6-6 275 Sr.   Marchene Hatchett 6-3 270 Sr.
DT DeQuincy Scott 6-2 278 Sr.   Gerald Mumford 6-4 255 Sr.
DT John Nix 6-3 290 Sr. Daleroy Stewart 6-4 307 Sr.
DE Dedric Scott 6-3 265 Sr. Doug Waller 6-5 276 So.
OLB Roy Magee 6-2 223 Jr. Zaid Houston 6-2 219 Sr.
MLB Rod Davis 6-3 235 Fr. Darris McKenzie 6-3 235 Fr.
OLB Anthony Chapman 5-11 209 Sr. Chris Langston 6-2 230 So.
CB Raymond Walls 5-10 190 Sr. Corey Yates 5-9 188 So.
CB Keon Moore 5-11 183 Sr. Daryon Brutley 6-2 182 Fr.
SS Leo Barnes 6-2 185 Sr. Etric Pruitt 6-2 188 Fr.
FS Chad Williams 5-10 195 Jr. Joey Pinkston 6-0 177 Sr.
P Mark Haulman 6-0 175 So.
Returning starters in bold.

Key Losses: Adalius Thomas-DE, T.J. Slaughter-LB, Ty Trahan-LB, Terrance Parrish-DB, Marvin Brown-DL, Royal Bell-LB, Jamie Purser-P