Improved USM 'D' faces pass-happy East Carolina - - Jackson, MS

Improved USM 'D' faces pass-happy East Carolina

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora says he tried to tell everybody before the season started that the Golden Eagles' defense is good.

But nobody listened.

After two frustrating seasons, the Southern Miss defense is rolling going into Saturday's crucial Conference USA game against East Carolina at Roberts Stadium. During its current 4-game winning streak, the Golden Eagles are giving up less than 13 points per game.

But Southern Miss (4-1, 1-0 Conference USA) will be tested by East Carolina (2-2, 2-0). New coach Ruffin McNeill, who was formally the defensive coordinator at Texas Tech, brought much of the Red Raiders' pass-happy offensive staff with him to East Carolina, and the Pirates are already putting up big offensive numbers.

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