HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) -- Southern Mississippi resorted to
trickery to keep J.P. Losman from getting one last shot at rallying
"We were working on it all week and we knew we had to complete
the pass or turn it over to them on downs. And we know they have a
really great offense and we didn't want to let them back on the
field," said Anthony Harris, who ran for 111 yards and was the
short receiver on the trick play. "Everything worked out for the
best. We got the big play and scored."
The Golden Eagles (7-3, 6-0) have won four straight and are a
half-game behind first-place TCU in Conference USA.
The unbeaten tenth-ranked Horned Frogs visit Hattiesburg on
Thursday night for a game with BCS ramifications that will decide
the C-USA title.
"This is what you play for, what you practice for. This is why
you do everything: To win a conference championship," said Antwon
Courington, who had three catches for 87 yards
Losman was 21-for-36 for 244 yards and two touchdowns for Tulane
(4-7, 2-5), which has lost six of seven.
The Golden Eagles looked like they would rout the Green Wave
early, jumping out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter.
But Southern Miss couldn't put Tulane away, and when Losman hit
Chris Bush with a 17-yard touchdown, the score was 20-14 with 7:26
The Golden Eagles put together the long, time consuming drive
they needed, but stalled at the Tulane 34 with about a minute and a
half left -- more than enough time for the dynamic Losman to mount a
Southern Miss first lined up its offense and tried to pull the
Green Wave offside on a fourth-and-4. That didn't work and the
Golden Eagles called a timeout to talk it over.
"I was expecting them to punt the ball and then us have to
drive 90 yards down the field to score," said Losman, who is
considered a big-time NFL prospect.
Golden Eagles coach Jeff Bower, who has been known to pull a
fast one in crucial situations, didn't like that scenario and
decided it was time to take a chance.
"I felt good about the call and felt the timing was right,"
Southern Miss kicker Darren McCaleb lined up for a 51-yard field
goal with Almond holding as usual.
"We told them before they went out there, 'Watch the fake.' We
didn't think they'd kick it, not in that situation," Tulane coach
Chris Scelfo said.
Almond took the snap, rolled right and threw long to a wide-open
Whitney, who rumbled in for a touchdown with 1:27 left.
"When I saw him catch it a big rush came to my heart," said
the 170-pound McCaleb, who threw a block to help protect Almond.
For Whitney, a freshman reserve tight end, it was his second
catch of the season and first career touchdown.
The 2-point conversion pass from Almond to Marvin Young made it
Almond finished 11-for-16 for 231 yards and two touchdowns.
Harris ran 33 times and scored a touchdown. He has gone over 100
yards in three of four games since moving from fullback to
The Golden Eagles scored on their first three possessions in
"The Battle for the Bell."
Almond was on target early, hitting Courington deep down the
middle for 60 yards on his first pass.
He hooked up with Courington again for 22 yards and two plays
later Harris ran in from 3 yards out to make it 7-0.
Almond was 5-for-7 in the first quarter for 129 yards and a
33-yard touchdown to DaRon Lawrence. The Southern Miss offense went
cold after that.
"Sometimes when you think it's going to be easy, you lose some
intensity," Bower said.
Losman drew the Green Wave to 17-7 when he hit Roydell Williams
for a 3-yard TD with 15 seconds left in the first half.
Williams had eight catches for 93 yards.