3:00 PM ET, October 25, 2003
M.M. Roberts Stadium, HATTIESBURG, MS
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) -- Marvin Young had 104 yards receiving and two touchdowns and Rod Davis ran 61 yards for another score on a botched field goal attempt as Southern Mississippi beat South Florida 27-6 on Saturday.
Southern Miss (4-3, 4-0 Conference USA) played without its No. 1 tailback and didn't name its starting quarterback until game time, but it didn't matter. The Golden Eagles dominated on defense.
South Florida (4-3, 3-2) saw several promising drives end in turnovers.
Defensive back Seth Cumbie helped Southern Miss take control with his block of Santiago Gramatica's field goal attempt to give the Golden Eagles a 13-3 lead.
A personal foul penalty pushed the ball back and Gramatica had to attempt the field goal from USM's 40-yard line. Cumbie came crashing through the line for the block and Davis scooped the ball up near the sidelines for his first career touchdown with 9:27 remaining in the second quarter.
Less than two minutes later, Antoine Cash tackled South Florida running back Clenton Crossley, causing a fumble on another potential scoring drive. Travis Coley recovered the fumble for Southern Miss on its 4-yard line to end the threat.
Dustin Almond started at quarterback. He threw for 175 yards and two touchdowns with his second TD pass coming at the 1:12 mark of the second quarter on a 10-yard toss to Young.
Almond was 10-of-22 passing with one interception.
Young's second TD stretched the lead to 20-3.
Almond and Damion Carter, who started USM's last two games, took the majority of snaps in practice. Micky D'Angelo, who began the season as the starter, has been out with a concussion for a month. He didn't play.
The Golden Eagles adopted a running-back-by-committee approach with leading-rusher Timmy Blackwell suspended for violating unspecified team rules.
Anthony Harris ran for a career-high 102 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown to open the fourth quarter to give Southern Miss a 27-6 lead. He is Southern Mississippi's first 100-yard rusher this season.
On the first play of the game, Almond threw a pass across the middle to Young who made a spin move to avoid a defender at the five and scored to give Southern Miss a 6-0 lead. The extra point was blocked.
South Florida got a 48-yard return from J.R. Reed, the longest return against the Golden Eagles this year, to set up a 28-yard field goal by Gramatica that cut the lead to 6-3.
That was as close as the Bulls would get.
Southern Miss came into the game averaging only 13.5 points per game against a team that ranked No. 13 nationally in total defense.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||6-18||6-16|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||0-0|
|TD||14:56||MARVIN YOUNG 80 YD PASS FROM DUSTIN ALMOND (BLOCKED XP)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 80 yards.
|FG||11:12||SANTIAGO GRAMATICA 28 YD FG|
Drive info: 9 plays, 39 yards.
|TD||9:27||ROD DAVIS 61 YD BLOCKED FG RETURN (DARREN MCCALEB KICK)||3||13|
|TD||1:12||MARVIN YOUNG 10 YD PASS FROM DUSTIN ALMOND (DARREN MCCALEB KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 29 yards.
|FG||6:24||SANTIAGO GRAMATICA 29 YD FG|
Drive info: 9 plays, 46 yards.
|TD||14:50||ANTHONY HARRIS 27 YD RUN (DARREN MCCALEB KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 52 yards.