On offense, Southern Miss lost just two skill players from last season in QB Cole Weeks and WR Markese Triplett, who both graduated. The Golden Eagles return all of their rushing yards from last season, 76.4 percent of their passing yards and 83.6 percent of their receiving yards.
Junior QB Nick Mullens tallied 263 yards passing in the season finale, marking his 14th career 200-yard passing games in 16 starts. Last season, he collected 200-yard passing games in nine of 10 starts. Mullens finished the season with 2,470 yards and 12 touchdowns in 10 games.
Sophomore WR Michael Thomas led the team in receiving yards (592) and touchdown receptions (five) during his freshman season. He collected at least one reception in every game, including four or more in five outings. Thomas had a string of four-straight games with a TD catch.
Southern Miss lost five of its top six tacklers from a year ago to graduation. Senior LB Brian Anderson returns as the top tackler from a season ago when he registered 65 tackles.
Southern Miss will open its 2015 campaign against in-state foe Mississippi State. It will be the Bulldogs first visit to Hattiesburg since 1989, which also marks the last time an opponent from the Southeastern Conference came to play at M.M. Roberts Stadium.