CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- Freshman Darren McCaleb kicked three
field goals, including a 26-yarder with 70 seconds left, and
John Eubanks had a 94-yard kickoff return as Southern
Mississippi rallied for a 22-20 Conference USA triumph over
The Golden Eagles (3-1, 2-0) got off to a slow start in their
conference opener. Cincinnati took a 20-6 lead less than three
minutes into the second quarter on Gino Guidugli's 39-yard TD
pass to running back Richard Hall.
But Eubanks returned the ensuing kickoff for a score, cutting
the deficit to 20-13. Southern Miss then held the Bearcats in
check the rest of the half and climbed within 20-16 on McCaleb's
McCaleb made it a one-point game less than a minute into the
fourth with a 28-yard field goal. The Golden Eagles got the
ball back at their own 27 when Cincinnati's Chet Ervin missed a
44-yard field goal with 5:46 remaining.
Southern Miss moved 64 yards and took their only lead of the
game with 70 seconds to play on McCaleb's kick.
The Bearcats moved past midfield, but the drive ended when free
safety Travis Coley picked off Gino Guidugli.
The Bearcats (3-2, 1-1) scored twice in a 20-second span in the
first quarter as Manfredini booted a 20-yard field goal and
cornerback Daven Holly had a 20-yard interception return for a
But just over two minutes later, linebacker Michael Boley sacked
Guidugli, forcing a fumble. Two plays later, Anthony Carter
caught a three-yard pass from Damion Carter to make it 10-6.
Hall finished with 114 rushing yards, but Guidugli completed
just 11-of-25 passes for 106 yards and was picked off twice.