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Almond set to take on Blackshirts

By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
Sept. 23, 2003
HATTIESBURG The extra time between the University of Southern Mississippi's win over Memphis and the game Thursday against No. 15 Nebraska (3-0, 0-0 Big 12) has come in handy for the Golden Eagles (2-1, 2-0 Conference USA).
With starting quarterback Micky D'Angelo sidelined after suffering his fourth concussion in one year, sophomore Dustin Almond has been thrust into the starting role for the nationally televised game against the Cornhuskers.
While the game against Nebraska will be Almond's first start of the year, the 6-foot-2, 212-pound quarterback is not a novice at the signal-caller's spot.
He made three starts last season and has played in two of three games this year in relief of D'Angelo. Almond has compiled 850 passing yards and 157 rushing yards, primarily as D'Angelo's backup with the Eagles.
Almond will need to use his mobility against the resurgent Cornhuskers defense that is living up to its nickname, the Blackshirts, this year.
Nebraska ranks No. 1 in the country in total defense (203.3 yards per game) and scoring defense (9.5 points per game).
The Blackshirts have given up only three touchdowns and no points in the second halves of games.
Along with being a typical Nebraska team on defense, the Cornhuskers are again wining games with a hardnosed, grind-out style running game.
Nebraska's offense has yet to prove it can be effective doing anything besides running between the tackles. The Huskers are first in the Big 12 and third nationally in rushing, at 292.7 yards a game.
USM has added 2,500 extra seats, with temporary bleachers set up in the South end zone, for the contest against the nationally ranked Nebraska.
A few tickets are still available and Bower has encouraged all Eagle fans to come out to make Nebraska's first road game of the year tough one.