UNT-USM five things

North Texas will face Southern Miss on Saturday in Hattiesburg, Miss. Both teams are 1-0 in Conference USA play.

North Texas will face Southern Miss on Saturday at M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. 

The Mean Green (2-3) are 1-0 in Conference USA play and are coming off a bye. Southern Miss is 3-2 on the year and is also 1-0 in league play.

Here are five things UNT fans should know about the Golden Eagles.

1. Southern Miss has one of the top quarterbacks in C-USA

C-USA had two quarterbacks named semifinalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, a rundown of the nation's top quarterbacks, this week.

UNT's Mason Fine was one. Southern Miss junior Jack Abraham was the other.

Abraham is trying to give Fine a run for the money when it comes to the title of the best quarterback in C-USA. The junior leads the league with an average of 303 passing yards per game and also has the highest passer rating at 172.9.

Abraham threw for 351 yards and three touchdowns last week in a win over UTEP. UNT coach Seth Littrell spoke highly of Abraham this week, saying that he is accurate and throws a good deep ball.

2. Southern Miss' record looks a whole lot better when one considers the competition 

Southern Miss' 3-2 record sounds a whole lot better when one considers the level of competition the Golden Eagles have faced this season.

Southern Miss lost at both Mississippi State and Alabama in nonconference play. The Golden Eagles were not particularly competitive in either game but it puts that 3-2 record in perspective.

Southern Miss lost to the Bulldogs 38-15 before being taken out by Alabama 49-7.

Southern Miss beat Troy 47-42 in a tight game before running past UTEP 31-13 in in its C-USA opener.

A game against UNT will be the best indication Southern Miss has had so far this season of where it stands as a program.

3. Southern Miss is getting one of its top defensive players back this week

Southern Miss has played without linebacker Racheem Boothe for most of the season. 

The junior was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection last season when he finished with 48 tackles. Boothe has missed two games and also left in the first half of Southern Miss' win over Troy earlier in the season.

He is expected back this week.

Boothe was the highest rated linebacker in C-USA last season by Pro Football Focus. He helps get Southern Miss lined up correctly and is also one of the Golden Eagles important playmakers.

He has three quarterback hurries and has also forced a fumble in limited action this season.

4. Southern Miss' leading tackler is a DFW product

Safety DQ Thomas leads Southern Miss with 40 tackles and has seven tackles for loss to go along with two interceptions.

He's also from the Dallas area.

Thomas was a standout player at Arlington Martin before continuing his career at Tyler Junior College. 

Thomas broke up a pass last season in UNT's win over Southern Miss.

5. A converted wide receiver is Southern Miss' leading rusher

De'Michael Harris began the season at wide receiver before shifting to running back.

The move has paid dividends for Southern Miss. Harris has rushed for 176 yards in five games, including 62 yards in the Golden Eagles' win over UTEP.

UNT cornerback Cam Johnson said that Harris is quick, a trait the Mean Green will have to be prepared for.

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.

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