Scores

Final

Southern Miss 30

(2-6, 1-3 away)

Memphis 36

(4-5, 3-2 home)

8:00 PM ET, October 25, 2008

Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, TN

1 2 3 4 T
USM 0 10 7 1330
MEM 14 6 3 1336

Top Performers

Passing: A. Davis (USM) - 186 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: C. Steele (MEM) - 29 CAR, 178 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: D. Brown (USM) - 8 REC, 110 YDS, 2 TD

Steele (178 yards, 2 TDs) keys Memphis past Southern Miss

Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Curtis Steele ran for 178 yards and two touchdowns to help Memphis beat Southern Mississippi 36-30 on Saturday night.

Even though the Tigers (4-5, 2-3 Conference USA) used a variety trick plays with a third-string quarterback Brett Toney heading the offense, racking up 285 yards rushing -- 516 totaled yards on offense.

Starter Arkelon Hall and backup Will Hudgens were injured last week against East Carolina. Fourth-stringer Tyler Bass, who shared time with Toney, was injured in the third period on Saturday night, leaving Toney as the lone quarterback.

The Golden Eagles (2-6, 0-4) had a chance to drive for a winning touchdown, but an interception by Josh Weaver 1:31 left setup Steele's 22-yard touchdown to give Memphis a 36-24 lead. Steele, who finished with 29 carries, took a direct snap from the quarterback position for the score.

Deandre Brown caught a 2-yard touchdown from Austin Davis as time expired for Southern Mississippi.

Davis completed 21-of-40 for 186 yards and two touchdowns on the night. He also rushed for 121 yards for the Golden Eagles. Damion Fletcher had 100 yards on 14 carries for the Golden Eagles.

The loss was the fifth straight for the Golden Eagles, and marked the first time they have lost four conference games in C-USA. It also assured Southern Mississippi of doing no better than .500 for the first time since 1993.

The Tigers drove 79 yards on seven plays, capped by a 14-yard touchdown pass from Toney to Carlos Singleton, who used his 6-foot-8 frame against the smaller defenders. The drive included a reverse option, had a receiver and running back taking direct snaps at quarterback and ran other misdirection plays.

On the next series, Bass came in the game, and on the third play, Memphis ran a hook-and-ladder, Bass throwing to Earnest Williams, who flipped to Steele, who carried the ball to the Southern Mississippi 11 for a 55-yard play. Bass swept right end for an 11-yard score to give the Tigers a 14-0 lead.

Bass connected with Singleton from 3 yards late in the half to put Memphis ahead 20-10 at halftime.

The Golden Eagles had 83 yards rushing in the first half, 76 of them by Davis. Fletcher, Conference USA's second-leading rusher with an average of 124.1, had only 9 yards in the first half.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
USM
MEM
1st Downs1930
Total Yards416516
Passing186231
Rushing230285
Penalties4-403-22
3rd Down Conversions5-168-14
4th Down Conversions3-30-0
Turnovers12
Possession24:1535:45

Passing Leaders

Southern MissC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Davis21/401864.721
MemphisC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Bass10/1313010.010

Rushing Leaders

Southern MissCARYDSAVGTDLG
Davis812115.1070
Fletcher141007.1131
MemphisCARYDSAVGTDLG
Steele291786.1222
Bass10515.1111

Receiving Leaders

Southern MissRECYDSAVGTDLG
Brown811013.8259
Banks3289.3014
MemphisRECYDSAVGTDLG
Singleton7649.1219
Steele0590.0059

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERUSMMEM
TD11:52Carlos Singleton 14 Yd Pass From Brett Toney (Matt Reagan Kick) 07
TD08:08Tyler Bass 11 Yd Run (Matt Reagan Kick) 014
SECOND QUARTERUSMMEM
FG10:08Britt Barefoot 27 Yd 314
TD03:05Tory Harrison 1 Yd Run (Britt Barefoot Kick) 1014
TD00:12Carlos Singleton 3 Yd Pass From Tyler Bass (Pat Failed) 1020
THIRD QUARTERUSMMEM
TD05:54Deandre Brown 8 Yd Pass From Austin Davis (Britt Barefoot Kick) 1720
FG00:58Matt Reagan 43 Yd 1723
FOURTH QUARTERUSMMEM
TD14:51Damion Fletcher 31 Yd Run (Britt Barefoot Kick) 2423
TD10:42Curtis Steele 10 Yd Run (Two-Point Conversion Failed) 2429
TD01:24Curtis Steele 22 Yd Run (Matt Reagan Kick) 2436
TD00:00Deandre Brown 2 Yd Pass From Austin Davis 3036