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A Nasty Bunch of Defenders: Southern Miss Golden Eagles

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

A mainstay of the Southern Miss football program has been its defense. An attacking, swarming style of play, the Golden Eagles defense earned themselves a nickname: The Nasty Bunch.

The Nasty Bunch goes back many years, consisting of players like Hanford Dixon, Patrick Surtain, Marchant Kenney, Adalius Thomas, and Michael Boley, to name a few.

The 2022 version of the Nasty Bunch was just as talented and productive. Southern Miss was ranked nationally in the following categories:

· 4th in sacks with 44

· 3rd in tackles for loss with 109

· 7th in INTs with 17

· 3rd in Opponents 4th Down conversion percentage at 25.93%

2023 Returning Starters/Contributors

The Golden Eagles return six starters from last year’s unit that allowed only 23.5 points/game. In addition, they have two experienced players back who missed significant playing time last season due to injury.

Junior NT Jalen Williams

Williams racked up 50 tackles in 2022 to go with 7.5 tackles for loss and 2 sacks. In addition, he also blocked a kick.

Senior Free Safety Jay Stanley

Stanley led the team with 5 INTs (tied for 11th nationally). He recorded 59 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks. Stanley was named 3rd Team All-Sun Belt.

Junior DL Kristin Booth

Booth made 36 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks in 2022.

Senior DT Quentin Bivens

Bivens recorded 32 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks.

Senior LB Averie Habas

Habas led the Golden Eagles with 12 tackles for loss to go with his 46 tackles and three sacks.

Senior LB Hayes Maples

Maples missed all of 2022 with an injury suffered in spring practice. He made 60 tackles in 2021. In addition, he recorded 4.5 tackles for loss, and forced 2 fumbles. He has 182 career tackles in 39 games played.

Senior LB Swayze Bozeman

Bozeman played in only four games last season, but made 16 tackles, three tackles for loss, 2 sacks and returned a fumble for a touchdown! Bozeman has 135 career tackles in 27 games played.

Look for Southern Miss to be intimidating once again on defense this year, and keep the tradition of the Nasty Bunch alive and in 2023.

The Golden Eagles open the new season on September 2nd when they host Alcorn State at The Rock.

Stats provided by

This article was originally published on It is republished here with permission.


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