After wearing Russell Athletic gear for the past 5 seasons (2013-2017), Southern Miss wore Adidas football uniforms for the first time ever in 2018. The Adidas uniform lineup, as seen below, featured two black jerseys, a white jersey, a gold jerseys, as well as black, white, and gold pants. The gold jerseys were never actually worn in 2018, despite being the first to be unveiled and shown off the most in promo shots and the like. It is likely that the gold jerseys would have been worn in a bowl game had the Golden Eagles made one; however, they were not selected for a fourth straight postseason appearance despite finishing the regular season with a 6-5 record.
The new Adidas jerseys feature a clean, simplistic design, with sleeve numbers and a "Southern Miss" wordmark across the chest on all jerseys. The white and gold pants feature a thick black stripe down the side, while the black pants are solid black with no stripes. The white and gold jerseys both have a black wordmark and black numbers, with gold outlines on the white jerseys and gray outlines on the gold jerseys.
The black jerseys initially featured gold numbers outlined in white and a white wordmark outlined in gold. This was the case for the first two games of the season, against Jackson State and ULM, in which the black jerseys with gold numbers were worn in an all-black look in back-to-back weeks. Starting with the third game of the season, against Rice, a noticeable change was made to the black jerseys: the numbers were changed from gold outlined in white to gray outlined in gold. This switch was confusing at first; the gold numbers outlined in white looked really good, and the gray numbers were, in my opinion, a significant downgrade. The explanation I was given is that the gold numbers did not match the gold pants, which is extremely disappointing on Adidas' part if true. Regardless of reason, the black jerseys were worn with gray numbers in their final five appearances of 2018; four of those appearances were with gold pants.
Games 1-2: Player Number on Right side, Eagle Logo on Left Side
Games 3-5: White and Gold "Southern Miss" wordmark, tapered stripe. Was the primary helmet design from 2003-2010 and 2012-2014.
Game 6: Classic "USM + Eagle" logo with single gold stripe. Similar to design worn in 1980.
Game 7: Black and Gold "Southern Miss" wordmark, single gold stripe.
Games 8-9: American Flag design over the Eagle Logo
Games 10-11: Black and Gold "Southern Miss" wordmark, no stripe. Was the primary helmet design from 2015-2016.
Southern Miss wore 5 different color combinations and 9 total combinations in 2018, down from 8 color combos and 13 total combos in 2017. The first color combination, which accounted for two total combinations was all-black. It was worn twice with the Eagle/Number helmets and gold numbered jerseys (to a 1-1 record), and once with the 2015-style helmets and gray numbered jerseys (in a win over LA Tech).
The color combination worn the most by Southern Miss in 2018 was Black/Black/Gold, which was worn 4 times, each time with gray numbered jerseys, and with three different helmets. In a win over Rice, the combo was worn with the 2003-style helmets; in a win over UTSA, it was worn with the 1980-style helmets. In early November, the combo was worn twice with American Flag style decals on the helmets, starting with a home win over Marshall, and then again the next week in a road OT loss at UAB.
In the Golden Eagles' first two road games, they wore the 2003-style helmets and white jerseys. The first, a loss at Auburn, was the only time USM white pants all season. The second, a loss at North Texas, saw the Golden Eagles wear black pants on the road for the only time in 2018.
Southern Miss's final two road games of 2018 featured two nearly identical combinations. In a loss at Charlotte, the Golden Eagles wore black helmets with the black and gold "ghost" Southern Miss wordmark decals with a single gold stripe, white jerseys, and gold pants. In the final game of the season, a win at UTEP, they wore nearly the exact same combination, but with the helmet stripe removed. By removing the stripe, the helmets became identical to the 2
The new Adidas uniforms provided Southern Miss with their best overall look since ditching Nike in 2012. The simple, clean design of the jerseys and pants is a major upgrade over anything the Golden Eagles wore under Russell Athletic. I hope that they can get the gold-matching issue figured out for 2019; I thought that the gold numbers outlined in white made for the best black jersey look Southern Miss had worn in a long, long time. The gray numbers just don't look near as good. If they could get everything to match, I think Black/Black/Gold with gold numbers would be an incredible home uniform for the Golden Eagles.
Aside from figuring out the black jersey issues, I'd also like to see Southern Miss get the gold jerseys some game action in 2019. I think Black/Gold/White has the potential to look really good in this set; I still think that the B/G/W combo worn against Tulane in 2009 was one of Southern Miss's best looks ever.
I like the way Southern Miss continues to experiment with helmet design; the 1980, 2003, and 2015 looks are all solid and should continue to see the field once or twice a year. Still not a fan of having a number on one side of the helmet and a logo on the other; using the eagle logo on both sides of the helmet is probably the way to go with that look. Looking forward to seeing what they come up with in 2019!