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Game by Game Predictions for Southern Miss in 2023 from the 4th Street Sports Crew

Sean Smith, SM2

Southern Miss football is just three days away, and the time for season projections is here. This article will review every Southern Miss game and give score projections from our Sports Crew


Week 1: vs. Alcorn State

Brent Wallace, Student Printz

When: September 2, 2023 

Where: Hattiesburg, MS 

When: 6 PM CT 

Watch: ESPN+ 

Dima Mixon, Executive Editor: The Golden Eagles will open the season at home for the second straight season when they welcome the in-state foe Alcorn State. The Braves are supposed to be very talented this season, being picked to finish second in the SWAC Western Division. Alcorn State landed six players on the SWAC preseason team, including five in the first team. This is not your casual FCS opponent; the Braves are an experienced ball club competing tightly in their respective league. Southern Miss leads the all-time series 3-0, with Alcorn State not challenging them outside of the 2014 game, where Southern Miss squeaked by 26-20. This game will be the first look at recently announced starting quarterback Billy Wiles, and it might take him a couple of drives to settle in. This game could be close in the first quarter, but expect Southern Miss to blow it open afterward. Prediction: Southern Miss wins 45-17; record: 1-0, 0-0 in Sun Belt 

Jackson Kennedy, SM2 Content Creator: Alcorn State is a fun team to play, but there is not much of a threat for Alcorn to win this one. Southern Miss shouldn’t get too cocky though, because that’s how you put together an embarrassing loss. Result: Southern Miss wins 54-17; record 1-0, 0-0 in Sun Belt

Week 2: at No. 8 Florida State

When: September 9, 2023 

Where: Tallahassee, FL 

When: 7:30 PM CT 

Watch: ACC Network 

Dima Mixon, Executive Editor: It is only week two, but Southern Miss already is facing the gauntlet of their demanding schedule. Going on the road, under the lights, against a top ten team in Florida State in the AP poll will be a tall task. The last time Southern Miss played in a game on this level would have been in 2021 against Alabama, where they lost 63-14. Florida State will have just been coming off one of the more anticipated week one matchups against LSU. If the Seminoles were to lose that game, that would almost certainly knock them out of the top ten, but still an excellent football team.  This will be a game that Southern Miss will go and try to compete as best they can, but try to avoid injuries to star players and enjoy the moment and compete to the best of your ability. However, barring a miracle, Southern Miss will take its first loss to the hands of the Noles. Prediction: Florida State wins 59-10; 1-1, 0-0 in Sun Belt 

Jackson Kennedy, SM2 Content Creator: Florida State’s team is touted as one of the toughest teams in the nation, and some are saying they’ll sneak into the College Football Playoffs. This will undoubtedly be the toughest game on the schedule, but the Golden Eagles will likely keep this game close. Depending on whether or not Florida State lives up to the hype or if they get banged up in their season opener versus LSU, they may be poised for an unlikely upset. However, an upset will be too tall a task to ask for. Prediction: Flordia State wins 31-21; 1-1, 0-0 in Sun Belt

Week 3: vs No. 24 Tulane  

Charlie Luttrell

When: September 16, 2023 

Where: Hattiesburg, MS 

When: 3 PM CT 

Watch: ESPNU 

Dima Mixon, Executive Editor: After the game at Florida State, the path does not get any easier for Southern Miss. They return home and welcome the Green Wave of Tulane, who is coming off one of if not the greatest, season in Tulane history after going 11-2 and winning the Cotton Bowl. The Green Wave and the Golden Eagles fought each other last season in the battle of the bell, with Southern Miss arguably getting their best win of Will Hall’s tenure by winning 27-24. This year, Tulane returns star quarterback Michael Pratt and several key players around the team.  Southern Miss will be two games into a brand-new quarterback and coming off a rough week in Tallahassee. Look for them to be energized and ready to play the Green Wave. I think Tulane is a better football club, and they will seek revenge for last year’s anomaly defeat. It is a close game, but I am taking a proven quarterback over an unproven quarterback. Prediction: Tulane wins 31-28, 1-2, 0-0 in Sun Belt 

Jackson Kennedy, SM2 Content Creator: The Battle for the Bell is one of the more iconic rivalries Southern Miss participates in. It’s always fun seeing a non-conference regular season game have a trophy at stake. Last year, Tulane beat nearly every team they faced, even USC, whose quarterback won the Heisman, except Southern Miss and UCF. With losing Tyjae Spears plus Will Hall’s knowledge of the Tulane system, Southern Miss should pull away with a win. Media will call it an upset, but Southern Miss fans will call it routine. Prediction: Southern Miss wins 31-24; 2-1, 0-0 in Sun Belt

Week 4: at Arkansas State

 When: September 23, 2023 

Where: Jonesboro, Arkansas 

When: TBA 

Watch: TBA

Dima Mixon, Executive Editor: After two rigid back-to-back losses, Southern Miss will go on the road for the second straight year for the Sun Belt opener against the Arkansas State Red Wolves. Last season, this game was controlled by Arkansas State for most of the contest until Southern Miss got new life from quarterback Jake Lange, and he led a rally to help Southern Miss squeak by 20-19. This season, Southern Miss should have better quarterback play than last season. The Golden Eagles also match up very well against the Red Wolves in this game; they should be more experienced in every area, especially defensively. The Red Wolves will be starting a new quarterback, and even though they are at home, I have Southern Miss coming out of Jonesboro with a win.  Prediction: Southern Miss wins 30-20; record: 2-2, 1-0 in Sun Belt

Jackson Kennedy, SM2 Content Creator: Arkansas State may be better than expected this season, but it is doubtful that they’ll beat Southern Miss. It’s a tall task for any team, regardless of notoriety, to put up points on this Golden Eagle defense, and the Redwolves don’t seem imposing enough to come away with a win. Prediction: Southern Miss wins 36-14, record: 3-1, 1-0 in Sun Belt

Week 5: vs Texas State

Texas State Athletics, September 30, 2023 

Where: Hattiesburg, MS 

When: TBA 

Watch: TBA

Dima Mixon, Executive Editor: A game that got lost in the shuffle from last season was on October 22 in San Marcos, Texas, where freshman quarterback Zach Wilcke heaved a hail mary deep to Chandler Pittman. Moreover, it was caught, Pittman scored, and Southern Miss got out of San Marcos by the skin of their teeth.  Southern Miss gets an all-new look at Texas State in Hattiesburg this year. The Bobcats have an all-new head coach, G.J. Kinne, coming from Incarnate Word, where he turned that program around in his one-year stint. He took UIW all the way to the FCS semifinals and is no stranger to the FBS with coaching jobs at SMU, Hawaii, and UCF, among others. Kinne has a talented roster, and the Bobcats will be better than some people give them credit.  However, they will not be good enough to come into the Rock and knock off the Golden Eagles but expect this game to be close. Prediction: Southern Miss wins 31-24, record: 3-2, 2-0 in the Sun Belt

Jackson Kennedy, SM2 Content Creator: Last season, Southern Miss beat Texas State away in a nail-biter, and this game will be just as close. Texas State has an electric first-year head coach in G.J. Kine, who is known for his high-powered offense. This head coach also picked up two SEC quarterbacks out of the transfer portal and looks to have reloaded this Bobcat team. This could be a surprise loss, but the Golden Eagles will likely come away with another close win. Prediction: Southern Miss wins 27-24, record 4-1, 2-0 in Sun Belt


Week 6: vs. Old Dominion

When: October 7, 2023 

Where: Hattiesburg, MS 

When: TBA 

Watch: TBA 

Dima Mixon, Executive Editor: It is the first meeting since 2016 and only the second meeting all-time (Series tied 1-1). Old Dominion qualified for a bowl in 2021 after starting 1-6! Last year, in 2022, Old Dominion had 17 returning starters and upset Virginia Tech in the opener. They almost beat Virginia a couple of weeks later and destroyed Coastal Carolina on the road 49-21. So this is a big surprise team, where sometimes they play well, sometimes they dont. This year, the Monarchs return just seven starters, so they are a very inexperienced team, and they will be coming to Hattiesburg in what is most likely to be a night game on homecoming. That will be too big of a task for Ricky Rahne’s Monarchs. Expect this one to be sured up by halftime. Prediction: Southern Miss wins 31-10, record: 4-2, 3-0 in Sun Belt 

Jackson Kennedy, SM2 Content Creator: A homecoming game against what is projected to be the worst team in the Sun Belt is an easy layup for this Golden Eagle team. There will be some problems from Old Dominion’s defense, but unless they prove pundits wrong, there are slim chances Southern Miss loses this game. Prediction: Southern Miss wins 38-10, record: 5-1, 3-0 in Sun Belt

Week 7: at South Alabama

Sean Smith

When: October 17, 2023 

Where: Hattiesburg, MS 

When: 6:30 PM CT 

Watch: ESPN2 

Dima Mixon, Executive Editor: This might be the game of the Sun Belt thus far in the season. Southern Miss and South Alabama both should be undefeated in the Sun Belt play. This will be a battle for the rights to a tie-breaker in the Sun Belt West. Last season, the game was very close for most of the contest until South Alabama eventually pulled away in the end.  The Jaguars are touted to be the Sun Belt’s best shot in years to get to a New Year’s Six bowl outside of Coastal Carolina in 2020. In head coach Kane Wommack’s first year, the Jaguars failed to reach a bowl. Last season, they returned 16 starters, were just a point away from upsetting UCLA, and lost to Troy at home. They were just four points from going undefeated in the regular season last year. This year they have a whopping 18 returning starters and have the best defensive lines in the Sun Belt. This game is a weird Tuesday night primetime on ESPN2. I think Southern Miss has vastly improved from last season to this season, but I also think the Jaguars have vastly improved to an even bigger level. Southern Miss has yet to beat South Alabama in football, which does not change this year. Prediction: South Alabama 35-20; record: 4-3, 3-1 in Sun Belt 

Jackson Kennedy, SM2 Content Creator: The South Alabama curse is real, and the South Alabama curse is alive. This team is poised to take the Sun Belt West with ease unless Southern Miss or Troy can stand up to them, and playing this game in Mobile is set up for disaster. This game will likely be close, but unless the curse is lifted, don’t expect the Golden Eagles to pull away this time. Prediction: South Alabama wins 30-24; 5-2, 3-1 in Sun Belt

Week 8: at Appalachian State

When: October 28, 2023 

Where: Boone, NC 

When: TBA 

Watch: TBA 

Dima Mixon, Executive Editor: The road gets more challenging after South Alabama. Will Hall must take his Golden Eagles up to Boone, NC, to face Appalachian State. App State became a staple team in the beginning weeks of college football. After losing to North Carolina 63-61 in the opener, they upset Texas A&M at Kyle Field in College Station.  After that miracle, they pulled off another miracle with a hail mary against Troy while College Gameday was there in Boone. They fell off after that and did not reach a bowl game even while going 6-6.  This season, they return eleven starters and draw Coastal Carolina and Marshall at home, where they have been brutal to opponents. They have been 43-6 at home in the last eight years. Southern Miss will have an extra few days to prepare for this game but will not be able to get the job done in a tough road matchup. Prediction: Appalachian State wins 35-27, record: 4-4, 3-2 in Sun Belt 

Jackson Kennedy, SM2 Content Creator: Appalachian State is a tough team, and even though they had a less-than-ideal season last year, there is something very raw and real about playing them in Boone. This compounds with the fact that over the last six years, App State is 43-6 at home. A win here would not be out of the realm of possibility, as no one knows what App State is really going to look like reloading after a disappointing last season, but it’s not a game one can confidently mark down as a Golden Eagle win. Prediction Appalachian State wins 27-24, record 5-3, 3-2 in Sun Belt

Week 9: vs ULM

Austin Lindsey

When: November 4, 2023 

Where: Hattiesburg, MS 

When: TBA 

Watch: TBA 

Dima Mixon, Executive Editor: After two challenging road games, Southern Miss returns to Hattiesburg to take on ULM. Last season, Southern Miss had to travel to Monroe and beat ULM to reach a bowl game for the first time in the Will Hall era. Behind Frank Gore Jr.’s exceptional performance, the Golden Eagles broke through and won 20-10.  Warhawk head coach Terry Bowden always could win, and in his first season with the Warhawks, he even sprung some upsets. They were in so many close games last season, seemingly dropping every one of them. This season, they lost their QB, RB, and top three WR’s. This should be a comfortable bounce-back victory for Southern Miss.  Prediction: Southern Miss wins 31-7; record 5-4, 4-2 in Sun Belt

Jackson Kennedy, SM2 Content Creator: ULM is a team that is something you can never fully prepare for. It can be chalked up to a win, but there are always shenanigans. Tomfoolery, if you will. This game will either be shockingly close or a comfortable win. Expect Terry Bouden to be competing with Will Hall over who can pull off a better sweater vest this game. My money’s on Hall, I heard he got some new ties. Either way, this will most likely be a Golden Eagle win. Prediction: Southern Miss wins 34-10, record 6-3, 4-2 in Sun Belt


Week 10: at Louisiana

When: November 9, 2023 

Where: Lafayette, LA 

When: 6:30 PM CT 

Watch: ESPNU 

Dima Mixon, Executive Editor: Southern Miss will play Louisiana on a Thursday night in primetime for the second straight season. Last year, Southern Miss won 39-24 and never lost the lead. This year, the game will be in Lafayette and will likely be pivotal for both squads trying to stay alive in the Sun Belt West. This is a series that dates back to 1923, with Southern Miss leading the all-time series 41-11. They have won the last ten matchups with the Ragin Cajuns. This season, they have just nine returning starters and draw South Alabama and Troy on the road. In hindsight, I think Southern Miss has improved since last season, playing a better Lousiana team last year. I think Southern Miss goes to Lafeyette and gets the job done. Prediction: Southern Miss wins 28-21, record: 6-4, 5-2 in the Sun Belt

Jackson Kennedy, SM2 Content Creator: Here’s a hot take: The Ragin’ Cajuns are not going to be very good this year. They don’t seem to have much fire under them, and they lost some key players to transfers and graduation. With a great coach like Michael Desormeaux, it will be interesting to see what he does with a marginally less talented roster than last year, but they don’t seem up to the task to truly compete at a high level in the Sun Belt this year. Prediction: Southern Miss wins 34-21, record 7-3, 5-2 in Sun Belt


Week 11: at Mississippi State


When: November 18, 2023 

Where: Starkville, MS 

When: 11:00 AM CT 

Watch: ESPN+ 

Dima Mixon, Executive Editor: This is one of the season’s most unique matchups. In average years, Southern Miss would be playing Mississippi State on the road to open the season, where both teams are fired up. The game would be close for the first two quarters, and then the Bulldogs would impose their will in the second half.  College Football lost a legend in the sport last year when Mike Leach suddenly passed away. This year, new head coach Zach Arnett inherits a Bulldog team with 12 returning starters, including a veteran quarterback. He also inherits a tough schedule where the Bulldogs could be 4-6 going into the Southern Miss game. They only return one starter on the defensive line, so that I would give the edge to the Southern Miss offensive line. Their secondary was depleted, with only one player back who started last season. The offense is the strength of the team, but not the defense.  This will be Will Hall’s Super Bowl, and Mississippi State might be peaking ahead of Ole Miss just enough to give Southern Miss the biggest upset win in the Will Hall era. Will that happen? I will say no as of now, but ask me again in November, and I may have changed my tune—very close game.  Prediction: Mississippi State wins 31-30; record 6-5, 5-2 in Sun Belt

Jackson Kennedy, SM2 Content Creator: Mississippi State is a team with a great deal to prove. After losing beloved head Coach Mike Leach, State promoted from within, and now their Defensive Coordinator Zach Arnett comes into the fray as the lead man. They also hired App State’s offensive coordinator, so expect an offense Sun Belt fans are familiar with. Depending on the health and confidence of both teams heading into this matchup, it could be very close. Adding on to the fact that this will take place mere days before the Egg Bowl, the Golden Eagles may take a Mississippi State team by surprise as they look ahead to a matchup they expect to be more difficult than the one they will face on November 23rd. A win here will not be beyond the realm of possibility, but it will be very tough. Prediction: Mississippi State wins 31-27; record 7-4, 5-2 in Sun Belt

Week 12: vs Troy

When: November 25, 2023 

Where: Hattiesburg, MS 

When: TBA 

Watch: TBA 

Dima Mixon, Executive Editor: Last season, Southern Miss could have won if they had had better quarterback play. Their defense held up to Troy, and eventually, the turnovers killed them. I do not expect the turnovers to be the catalyst to this game this season, as Billy Wiles will be entering his 12th game and be significantly more experienced than Zach Wilcke was last season in Troy. Troy is the reigning Sun Belt champions, and they have 12 returning starters and have a great chance at repeating their title. They lose their top two wide receivers and return their quarterback. Their linebacker room is somewhat depleted from last season after losing Carlton Martial.  I expect Southern Miss to be up on Senior Day and give the Trojans everything they got, and I expect that effort to be a victory. Prediction: Southern Miss wins 27-24; record 7-5, 6-2 in Sun Belt

Jackson Kennedy, SM2 Content Creator: This game was tough to decide. It’s too far in the future, and this Troy team has a few question marks that leave one wondering about how confident they should be in this Troy team. The defending conference champs lost their star defensive lineman TJ Jackson indefinitely due to a violation of team rules, which leaves some large shoes to fill in the pass rush. Troy’s offense has never been impressive, so if Southern Miss can overcome their stout defense and hold their typically low-scoring offense, the Golden Eagles can win this game. With Senior Day and the final regular season game on the line, you really can’t pick against this Southern Miss team that loves to show their fans some love back, and what better way to do so than to beat the reigning conference champions at home? Prediction: Southern Miss wins 27-17, record 8-4, 6-2 in Sun Belt 


Follow Dima Mixon (@dima_mixon) and Jackson Kennedy (@JaxKennedy1209) for coverage of Southern Miss athletics. 

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