Southern Miss defensive line aims to improve

The Southern Miss defense tallied 13 sacks last season, a number that tied for last in Conference USA with UTEP.

The unit was plagued by injuries last season, which contributed to the lack of production, but with returning seniors like Adam Williams and Rakeem Nunez-Roches, the Black and Gold defensive front is looking to make an impact in the first game of the season.

"It all starts up front. Coach [LeBlanc] always tells us it all starts up front," senior defensive lineman Daz McCullum said.

"We gotta dominate up front and the back end will be pretty good. I'm very excited. I know a lot of the guys that play at Mississippi State and we're talking stuff back and forth, so I'm just ready to get after them."

Defensive line coach Derrick LeBlanc commented on the depth of the unit.

"We have a young group of guys. Of course we have a bunch of older guys like Adam Williams and Daz McCullum, and we have Rakeem Nunez-Roches, who's sort of the bellcow and a leader that we're trying to get him to be," said LeBlanc.

"There's a lot of learning going on right now, but for the most part the progress has been pretty good."

Adam Williams led the team with 3 sacks last season followed by McCullum with 2.5.