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
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
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
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.