The Southern Miss football team ends its 2013 season this Saturday with a noon contest at historic Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala., as they face the Blazers of UAB.
It will be a battle between two teams both hoping to wrap disappointing 2013 seasons with a win.
Southern Miss (0-11, 0-7 Conference USA) enters the game on the heels of one of its stronger showings of the year in a 42-21 loss to Middle Tennessee. UAB (2-9, 1-6 Conference USA) enters the game after a 37-34 overtime loss to Rice.
This will be the 14th meeting in football between the Golden Eagles and Blazers with Southern Miss currently enjoying a 9-4 advantage in the series. Southern Miss is 7-15-1 all-time in games played at Legion Field.
In last year's meeting, which marked the 13th consecutive season in which the two teams met on the gridiron, UAB logged a 27-19 win in Hattiesburg.
An eight-point win by the Blazers in 2012 is typical of the series. Eight of the previous 13 games between the Golden Eagles and UAB have been decided by seven or fewer points.
While Southern Miss has not experienced a win because of it, of late the team has made positive strides on both sides of the ball.
Freshman quarterback Nick Mullens has completed 112 passes for 1,406 yards and eight touchdowns. Freshman receiver Tyre-oune Holmes leads the team and is fifth in C-USA with 47 receptions which he has converted into 354 yards and one touchdown.
Redshit junior wide receiver Markese Triplett is averaging 16.9 yards per catch and has made 29 receptions for 490 yards and a team-best three receiving touchdowns. On defense, more young players continue to emerge.
Redshirt sophomore Terrick Wright is seventh in the conference with 87 total tackles while sophomore defensive back DeBarriaus Miller checks in at 11th with 84.
Freshman defensive lineman Dylan Bradley is coming off the best game of his still-young college career, a 13-tackle showing versus Middle Tennessee in which he made on tackle for loss and hurried the quarterback once.
On the opposite sideline, UAB has performed far better than its record would indicate as well.
The Blazers boast two running backs and two quarterbacks who rank among the top offensive performers in the conference.
Tailbacks Jordan Howard and Darrin Reaves have the fifth- and seventh-most rushing yards in the conference, respectively. Howard has amassed 867 yards and two touchdowns on 138 carries while Reaves has 859 yards and nine scores on 186 attempts.
The quarterback tandem of Austin Brown and Jonathan Perry rank ninth and 10th in average yards per game, Brown having completed 93 passes for 1,199 yards and nine touchdowns and Perry 74 passes for 1,562 yards and eight touchdowns, each over the span of nine games.