Southern Miss 17

(5-4, 3-3 away)

TCU 42

(5-5, 4-1 home)

3:00 PM ET, November 20, 2004

Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, TX

1 2 3 4 T
USM 0 7 10 017
TCU 14 7 7 1442

Top Performers

Passing: B. Hassell (TCU) - 250 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: R. Merrill (TCU) - 24 CAR, 149 YDS

Receiving: C. Rodgers (TCU) - 7 REC, 106 YDS, 1 TD

TCU 42, Southern Miss 17

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- Brandon Hassell rushed for three touchdowns and threw for another as TCU kept its postseason chances alive by beating Southern Mississippi 42-17 Saturday.

TCU (5-5, 3-4 Conference USA) still needs a win next Saturday against Tulane to become bowl eligible.

Southern Mississippi (5-4, 4-3) lost quarterback Dustin Almond early in the third quarter with an undisclosed injury. Jeremy Young replaced Almond, who threw for 116 yards before being knocked out, and led the Golden Eagles on two short scoring drives.

The Golden Eagles lost their third straight conference game for the first time since joining Conference USA in 1996.

Hassell threw for 250 yards and a score. He also had two 1-yard touchdown runs and one of nine yards for the Horned Frogs, who have played in six straight bowl games.

TCU's Robert Merrill rushed for 149 yards and Cory Rodgers had seven receptions for 106 yards. Quincy Butler had a 99-yard interception return that gave TCU a 42-17 lead in the fourth.

Hassell's 1-yard touchdown run gave TCU a 28-7 cushion early in the third, but Southern Mississippi rallied with the help of two big special teams plays.

After a 52-yard kickoff return by Southern Mississippi's Darrell Bennett, Sherron Moore's 2-yard touchdown run brought the Golden Eagles within 28-14.

Yamil Ortega then blocked a John Braziel punt that set up Darren McCaleb's 24-yard field goal with 3:51 left in the third.

But TCU took a 35-17 lead early in the fourth on Rodger's 1-yard TD run.

Southern Mississippi, whose bowl hopes are in peril after a 5-1 start, couldn't rally in the fourth. The Golden Eagles need to win one of their final two games against either UAB or No. 4 California to become bowl eligible. Both games are at home.