Southern Miss 19

(1-1, 0-1 away)

(24) Tennessee 39

(1-1, 1-0 home)

7:00 PM ET, September 8, 2007

Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, TN

1 2 3 4 T
USM 13 3 0 319
#24TENN 10 7 10 1239

Top Performers

Passing: E. Ainge (TENN) - 276 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: A. Foster (TENN) - 23 CAR, 125 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: C. Johnson (USM) - 8 REC, 127 YDS, 1 TD

Rogers. Taylor, Briscoe power Vols win over Southern Miss

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A trio of Tennessee wide receivers combine for 241 yards and two touchdowns.

Robert Meachem, Jayson Swain and Bret Smith? They're gone. The new trio of Austin Rogers, Lucas Taylor and Josh Briscoe had a breakout game against Southern Mississippi.

Erik Ainge threw a touchdown pass a piece to Rogers and Briscoe, Arian Foster ran for two scores and No. 24 Tennessee defeated Southern Miss 39-19 Saturday night.

"The potential has always been there, so we aren't shocked that they're where they're supposed to be every time," Ainge said about his new top pass catchers.

Ainge completed 23 of 36 for 276 yards, getting a lot of help from the developing receivers. Rogers caught seven passes for 112 yards and a touchdown, Taylor added 118 yards on five catches and Briscoe caught a touchdown.

Foster ran for 125 yards on 23 carries.

The Vols made a key conversion on third-and-short with when Ainge connected on a 5-yard touchdown pass to Briscoe with 41 seconds left in the second quarter to send Tennessee (1-1) into the locker room with a 17-16 lead.

After trailing Southern Miss most of the first half, the Vols held the lead after the Briscoe touchdown, capitalizing on three lost fumbles by Southern Mississippi (1-1).

Tennessee linebacker Jerod Mayo forced the ball from Tory Harrison with 9:35 in the third quarter and Jarod Parrish recovered. A 35-yard pass from Ainge to Taylor set up Foster's 9-yd touchdown five plays later to put the Vols up 27-16.

"Anytime you get a turnover, it's important to capitalize on the opportunity," Foster said.

Harrison fumbled again on a kickoff return with 8:21 in the fourth quarter and kicker Daniel Lincoln, filling in for an injured Britton Colquitt, connected on a 47-yard field goal pushing Tennessee to a 37-19 lead.

Tennessee was awarded a safety with 5:29 in the fourth after Nevin McKenzie forced the ball from backup quarterback Stephen Reaves, who kicked the ball out of the Southern Miss end zone.

"Football is a game where you can't have turnovers," Southern Miss quarterback Jeremy Young said. "the team who forces the most and recovers the most is normally the team that wins and that's what happened."

Tennessee's defense struggled in the first half, allowing a one-play scoring drive when Young threw down the field to Chris Johnson to put the Golden Eagles up 10-7 with 9:11 in the first. The 69-yard touchdown pass was a career-high completion for Young.

Young went 19-of-36 for a career-high 254 yards, surpassing his previous best of 193 yards set against Memphis in 2006. He also ran for 48 yards on nine carries.

Damion Fletcher, who rushed for 156 yards last week against Tennessee-Martin, was limited to only 37 yards on 11 carries. Southern Miss coach Jeff Bower said Fletcher was hindered by cramps and sat out for much of the second half.

The Golden Eagles converted only three of 16 third downs, struggling mostly inside the red zone.

"We had chances to score and settled for field goals," Bower said. "When you play good teams you have to get touchdowns."

Justin Estes connected on field goals of 30 yards, 41 yards and 24 yards for Southern Miss, his first career field goals, but missed on a 42-yard attempt. Britt Barefoot also succeeded in his first career field goal, a 51 yarder.

Lincoln also hit a 38-yard field goal in the first quarter.

Fulmer said he opted not to use Colquitt for punting or kicking responsibilities because he was still sore from punting in the Cal game with a lingering muscle pull. Fulmer said he was pleased with how Lincoln and punter Chad Cunningham have performed in his place.

"Lincoln, our young kicker, and Cunningham, our young punter, came through for us," Fulmer said. "Britton might have been able to play, but we took the chance that the youngster would get it done."


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs1722
Total Yards354469
3rd Down Conversions3-168-16
4th Down Conversions1-31-2

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

FG12:17Justin Estes 30 Yd 30
TD09:29Austin Rogers 26 Yd Pass From Erik Ainge (Daniel Lincoln Kick) 37
TD09:11Chris Johnson 69 Yd Pass From Jeremy Young (Justin Estes Kick) 107
FG03:54Britt Barefoot 51 Yd 137
FG00:37Daniel Lincoln 38 Yd 1310
FG05:18Justin Estes 40 Yd 1610
TD00:41Josh Briscoe 5 Yd Pass From Erik Ainge (Daniel Lincoln Kick) 1617
FG12:04Daniel Lincoln 36 Yd 1620
TD08:13Arian Foster 9 Yd Run (Daniel Lincoln Kick) 1627
FG12:19Justin Estes 24 Yd 1927
TD08:32Arian Foster 1 Yd Run (Daniel Lincoln Kick) 1934
FG06:33Daniel Lincoln 47 Yd 1937
SF05:22Penalty On Stephen Reaves In End Zone 1939