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USM will try to change numbers

By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
Sept. 3, 2003
HATTIESBURG The numbers were daunting for Southern Miss in the football team's first game of the season.
The Golden Eagles traveled 4,460 miles, round trip, from their campus to Berkeley, Calif., to take on the Golden Bears of California.
Southern Miss lost 34-2, failed to score a single point on offense, gave up 417 yards, amassed a sparse 281 yards, allowed 20 points in a single quarter, failed to convert four third-and-short conversions and missed 21 tackles.
As staggering as all of those numbers are to the Eagles, the worst numbers of all are 0-1, the team's record after the loss.
The number crunch is even tighter for Southern Miss' next game.
A mere 96 hours following the lopsided loss to the Bears, the Eagles will leave the nest again to take on the Blazers of the University of Alabama at Birmingham for a 6 p.m. contest on Thursday. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2.
Southern Miss will have to get better in a hurry because of more than just the time factor between games one and two.
The Eagles begin their conference schedule that D'Angelo talked about following the loss to Cal, and the team takes on an opponent that has given it a dog fight in the previous three meetings.
In the short history between Southern Miss and UAB, the squad from Hattiesburg has won all three contests, but the Eagles have only recorded victories by an average of 4.3 points.
Southern Miss will be facing a team that is slightly different from the UAB squads it has seen in the past.
The Blazers have a new defensive coordinator, Wayne Bolt, and a new scheme.
The Eagles will also have to contend with an offense that is flying high after notching 403 yards of total offense in a 24-19 win over Baylor last Saturday.
The days of preparation for the Blazers may be short, but at least, the Eagles will only be traveling 470 miles, round trip, for the second game of the season.
How the smaller numbers of practice hours and road time add up will be seen on Legion Field.