Oct. 11, 2000
From the Associated Press
Southern Mississippi looks for more consistency out of its passing game as the 16th-ranked Golden Eagles visit Tulane in a Conference USA matchup.
The Golden Eagles (4-1, 1-0 Conference USA) are coming off a 41-7 trouncing of Southern Florida, but coach Jeff Bower is still waiting for his passing attack to take form.
Southern Miss has been held to just 198 yards per game in the air, and Bower is counting on sophomore wide receiver LeRoy Handy to step up.
"I think he is on track," Bower said. "The biggest change I see in LeRoy is that he is a totally different receiver now that he knows he is playing. He didn't really turn the switch on until he knew it was his time to play."
Beginning with Tulane (3-2, 1-1), the Golden Eagles will face only Conference USA opponents for the rest of the season and hope to charge to their fourth straight bowl game.
Southern Miss hopes to have its star running back Derrick Nix back for the Tulane game. Nix, who has rushed for over 1,000 yards the past two years, was sidelined with a sprained ankle.
In 1998, when they last played each other in the Superdome, Tulane was able to force six turnovers and hand Southern Mississippi their last intraconference loss, 21-7.
The Green Wave have a three-game winning streak coming into Saturday's game for the first time since their 12-0 season of 1998 when they went on to win the Liberty Bowl against BYU.
Though they went 3-8 in 1999, Tulane now averages a conference-high 454.6 yards and has scored at least 20 points in all but one of its games, a 37-17 loss to East Carolina.
The Green Wave will look to junior quarterback Patrick Ramsey, who has already thrown for 1155 yards with only five interceptions in 152 attempts.
The Golden Eagle defense has allowed only two touchdowns all season, one in their season opening 19-16 loss to Tennessee, and the other this past weekend against Southern Florida.
The Tulane defense has allowed an average of 32 points a game.