2019 was Southern Miss’s second season with Adidas; the Golden Eagles retained their primary uniforms from the 2018 season while also throwing in a couple of new looks.
Southern Miss wore six different color combinations and 12 total combinations in 2019. The only combination to be worn more than once was the 2003 Helmet, White Jersey, and Black Pants combo, which was worn in back-to-back games against Alabama and Troy early in the season. Both of those marks were the highest since 2017, when the Golden Eagles wore 8 color combinations and 13 total combinations, never wearing the same thing twice.
The white jerseys were the most worn uniform element of 2019, totaling eight appearances. Their appearances were evenly split between gold and black pants, being worn with each four times.
The white jerseys were retained from 2018, as were the black jerseys with gray numbers; the black jerseys with gold numbers, which were worn in the first two games of the 2018 season, were not.
Gold Adidas jerseys were shown off in the offseason prior to the 2018 season, but never saw the field. They were finally worn in the 2019 season-opening win over Alcorn State.
Additionally, a brand new heathered-gray alternate jersey, featuring white numbers and absolutely no gold, were worn in the final home game of the season against Western Kentucky. These were the first uniforms in school history to not feature any gold.
The solid black pants were retained from 2018 and were the Golden Eagles’ most worn pants in 2019, totaling six appearances. The gold pants with a thick black stripe were also retained, being worn a total of five times in 2019.
Solid gold pants, matching the color of the gold jerseys, were worn in the season opener against Alcorn State. Heathered-gray pants were also worn as part of the alternate look against Western Kentucky.
White Adidas pants with a thick black stripe were worn once in 2018, but they did not see the field in 2019. As a result, 2019 was the first season since 2015 and only the second season since 2005 in which Southern Miss did not wear white pants.
Southern Miss has a pretty cool helmet rotation going on the last few years, where they’re constantly swapping out the decals on the shiny black helmets to re-create historical designs as well as create new ones.
The Golden Eagles wore three historical helmet designs in 2019. The design worn in the first two games, against Alcorn State and Mississippi State, was the one first worn from 1977 to 1980. The logo from that era had been worn on the helmets once a year the past two seasons, but this was the first since 1980 in which the entire accurate helmet design was worn, with double stripes down the middle of the helmet.
The second historical design is the one debuted in 2003, with “Southern Miss” on each side and a modern, tapered stripe design. This design was worn three times in 2019 and has been worn in 14 of the last 17 seasons, with the exceptions being 2011, 2015, and 2016.
The final historical design is the 2015 “ghost” helmet, which features a very simple design with no stripe and a black and gold “Southern Miss” logo on the sides. The design has now been worn each of the last five seasons; it was the Golden Eagles’ most worn helmet design in 2019 with four appearances. It’s the only helmet to be worn with all four combinations of the black/white jerseys and black/gold pants.
One additional helmet design debuted in 2018 was also brought back and worn multiple times in 2019: the American Flag Eagle decal helmet. Worn twice in early November 2018, the design was brought back and worn twice again in early November 2019, as well as, appropriately, the Armed Forces Bowl in January 2020.
The Golden Eagles did debut one brand-new helmet design in 2019. It featured a single white stripe and a solid white “Southern Miss” wordmark on either side. Devoid of all gold, it was paired with the heathered-gray alternate uniform worn against Western Kentucky.
As mentioned earlier, the white jerseys were worn eight times in 2019, four times with the gold pants and four times with the black pants. Both were great looks for the Golden Eagles, though I have to say I slightly prefer the gold pants. The Black/White/Gold combo was worn with four different helmet designs: 1980, 2003, 2015, and America.
The Black/White/Black combination was also worn four times, though with only three different helmet designs: 2003 (twice), 2015, America.
The Golden Eagles wore two "alternate" monochrome combinations in 2019: All Gold and All Heathered-Gray. The All Gold look was worn with the 1980 helmet design while the All Heathered-Gray look had its own custom helmet design.
Concept for 2020
Since switching to Adidas, Southern Miss has really upgraded its football uniforms from the Russell Athletic days. However, there are a few changes that they could make in 2020 that would give them an even better, more consistent look. They should be due for an upgrade to the Primeknit A1 template soon; the heathered-gray alternate uniforms are already on it. A potential template upgrade would give the Golden Eagles a chance to actually implement some of these changes.
The most obvious problem with the Golden Eagles’ uniform uniforms is the gray numbers on the black jerseys; in the first two games under Adidas last season, Southern Miss had black jerseys with gold numbers outlined in gold for the first time since 2008, and they looked incredible. Unfortunately, there was apparently a color-matching issue with the Adidas golds and the gold numbers did not match the gold pants. As a result, the gray numbers were re-introduced (USM had worn gray numbers on black jerseys the previous two seasons under Russell Athletic).
With a new template, hopefully Adidas and Southern Miss could sort out the color issue and bring back those beautiful gold numbers with matching gold pants.
The other major jersey change I would make is to replace the gray outline on the gold jerseys’ numbers/wordmark with a more traditional white outline. Doing so, in conjunction with the previously discussed change, would completely remove gray from the Golden Eagles’ primary uniforms and return them to three uniforms that feature a good balance of black, gold, and white for the first time since the Larry Fedora Era.
On the pants, I would just go with simple white, gold, and black pants designs that feature the Golden Eagle logo on the right hip and no stripes. I think this would be the most consistent look for the USM brand.
In the mockup, I used the 2003 helmets because they pretty much work with everything. However, I really like how they use the 1980 and 2015 designs, and would encourage them to continue doing so!