Smith named Player of the WeekBy FROM SOUTHERN MISS,
HATTIESBURG – On the strength of his third consecutive 100-yard rushing game and longest scoring run in school history in Southern Miss’ 31-29 victory over UTSA last Saturday, senior running back Ito Smith collected his second Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week award.
Smith now possesses 19, 100-yard games for his career, after exploding for 178 yards on 17 carries and a 10.5 per rush average versus the Roadrunners. The Mobile, Ala., native now has two of the top 10 rushing performances by a Southern Miss senior.
His school-record 89-yard scoring run helped extend the Golden Eagle lead in the second half, surpassing the previous best scoring rush of 87 yards by both Bo Dickson at Dayton in 1956 and Bubba Phillips against Northwestern State in 1947.
During the game, Smith moved into second place on the school’s career chart for rushing yards at 3,736, moving ahead of Ben Garry (1974-77/3,595) and Derrick Nix (1998-2000, 02/3,584)
For the game, he finished with 190 all-purpose yards as he added two catches for 12 yards. Earlier this season, he became only the second Golden Eagle to ever go over the 5,000-yard mark for that category.
Smith, who also won the award following the ULM contest, now has captured two C-USA Offensive Player of the Week awards in his career.
The Golden Eagles return to action this weekend when they entertain UTEP for a 6 p.m., homecoming contest Saturday.