ORLANDO (AP) -- Jeremy Lyons returned an interception for a
touchdown, leading Southern Mississippi to a 19-14 victory over
Central Florida in the Conference USA opener for both schools
The linebacker cut in front of receiver Mike Walker and grabbed
Steve Moffett's pass, then trotted 4 yards untouched into the end
zone to give the Golden Eagles a 19-7 lead with 10:24 left.
Moffett threw a 6-yard scoring pass to Javid James, cutting
Central Florida's deficit to 19-14 with 5:51 remaining. The Golden
Eagles (1-3) got the ball back at their 39-yard line with 4:11
left, but Moffett was sacked three times. They turned the ball over
on downs at the 33.
Southern Mississippi (3-1) then ran out the clock.
Lyons' interception return punctuated the offensive struggles
for both teams. They combined for seven punts and only 94 yards in
the first quarter, and neither team had a third-down conversion
until the third.
Southern Mississippi's Jeremy Young found Chris Johnson with a
54-yard touchdown pass with 4:18 left in the second quarter. Darren McCaleb added a 19-yard field goal 17 seconds before halftime to
push the lead to 10-0.
UCF cut it to 10-7 when Kevin Smith dived over a pile from the 1
on the Golden Knights' first possession of the second half.
Smith, who had 129 yards on 30 attempts, could have scored
another touchdown on the next possession, but fumbled the ball away
into the end zone when LeVance Richmond hit him and recovered the
McCaleb turned that into a 34-yard field to give Southern Miss a