HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Danny Hrapmann kicked five field goals and Southern Miss (No. 22 BCS, No. 25 AP) hung onto its Conference USA title hopes and avoided an upset with a 30-29 win over Central Florida on Saturday night.
Central Florida's J.J. Whorton caught a 25-yard touchdown pass as time expired, but Southern Miss safety Jacorious Cotton got a hand on Blake Bortles' 2-point conversion pass to seal the win.
Hrapmann made all five field-goal attempts, including kicks of 42, 44 and 48 yards, and made both of his extra point attempts to propel Southern Miss to its first 9-1 start since 1962.
Austin Davis threw for 366 yards and two touchdowns.
Bortles came on in relief of UCF starter Jeff Godfrey and completed 24 of 34 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception.
Central Florida (4-6) has lost four of its last five games and six out of eight.
Southern Miss was turned away in the red zone four times and never established a running game, managing 127 yards on the ground.
The Knights held Southern Miss to three third-down conversions on 14 attempts. One of those conversions came with Southern Miss trailing 23-22 on 3rd-and-7 from the Southern Miss 23. Davis found Briggs down the sideline for a 34-yard pass, and five plays later, connected for a 4-yard, go-ahead touchdown.
Southern Miss won at least a share of the Conference USA East title, but still needs to win one of its last two against UAB and Memphis to earn a berth in the championship game.
Steve Sarkisian has been plagued of late by apparent substance-related circumstances, including arriving to team facilities appearing intoxicated Sunday, according to sources.
Steve Spurrier, the visor-slinging, slick-talking "Head Ball Coach" who is the second-winningest coach in Southeastern Conference history, announced his resignation on Tuesday.
Florida Gators quarterback Will Grier has been suspended for the year after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance found in a supplement, coach Jim McElwain announced Monday.
Tennessee defensive tackle Shy Tuttle will miss the rest of the season with a broken fibula and torn ankle ligament.
Former NFL safety Tyler Sash died from an accidental overdose after mixing two powerful pain medications, and a history of injuries was a contributing factor, a medical examiner said.
Former USC coach Pete Carroll said Monday that he's saddened by Steve Sarkisian's situation and he has reached out to his former assistant.