Scores

Final

UCF 34

(5-3, 3-1 American)

Southern Miss 17

(4-4, 3-2 C-USA)

8:00 PM ET, October 28, 2007

M. M. Roberts Stadium, Hattiesburg, MS

1 2 3 4 T
UCF 7 14 10 334
USM 7 3 7 017

Top Performers

Passing: K. Israel (UCF) - 162 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: K. Smith (UCF) - 43 CAR, 175 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: K. Aiken (UCF) - 3 REC, 55 YDS, 1 TD

Smith, nation's No. 2 rusher, becomes UCF's career rushing leader

Associated Press

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) -- Kevin Smith ran for 175 yards and two touchdowns and set five school records to help Central Florida beat Southern Miss 34-17 on Sunday night.

Smith, who entered the game as the No. 2 scorer and rusher in the nation, led the Knights (5-3, 3-1) back into the Conference USA East Division race.

The 6-foot-1, 211-pound junior set the school career rushing record with 3,372 yards, breaking Alex Hayne's mark of 3,359 set from 2001-04. Smith also set marks for rushing and total TDs in a season (16), career 100-yard games (16) and had a school-record 43 carries.

Southern Miss turnovers set up both of Smith's first-half scores. The first, a 1-yard dive, came after Johnell Neal intercepted Stephen Reaves' pass.

The second, a 5-yard sprint to the corner of the end zone, was set up by Jeremy Young's fumbled snap in the second quarter.

Kyle Israel put the Knights up 21-10 with an 8-yard pass to Brian Watters with 1:28 left in the second quarter.

Southern Miss (4-4, 3-2) rallied briefly after Central Florida pushed its lead to 24-10 on Michael Torres' 41-yard field goal to open the second half. Tory Harrison's second touchdown run of the game, a 4-yarder that came with 9:59 left in the third quarter, cut the Knights' lead to a touchdown.

But Smith and Central Florida answered with a 17-play drive that ate up 80 yards and 8:56. Smith had seven carries on the drive, and Israel threw his second touchdown pass, connecting with Kamar Aiken on an 8-yard pass with 1:03 left in the third quarter to make it 31-17.

Reaves threw his third interception on the next drive, effectively ending Southern Miss' hopes, and Torres nailed down the game with a 31-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.

In addition to the touchdown passes, Israel made several big plays for first downs to keep Central Florida drives alive and finished 12-of-16 for 162 yards.

It was the worst home conference loss for the Golden Eagles since a 34-17 loss to Tulsa in 2005.

Southern Miss, picked to win the East Division this season, must now hope that both East Carolina and Central Florida stumble over the season's final four games to earn an appearance in the league championship game.

The Golden Eagles, losers of three of their last five, were led by tailback Damion Fletcher, who had 134 yards rushing on 19 carries.

Reaves finished 20-of-29 for 144 yards and three interceptions.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Team Stat Comparison

 
UCF
USM
1st Downs2121
Total Yards381303
Passing162144
Rushing219159
Penalties7-485-50
3rd Down Conversions10-168-12
4th Down Conversions1-10-0
Turnovers04
Possession36:3323:27

Passing Leaders

UCFC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Israel12/1616210.120
Southern MissC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Reaves20/291445.003

Rushing Leaders

UCFCARYDSAVGTDLG
Smith431754.1225
Israel8425.3022
Southern MissCARYDSAVGTDLG
Fletcher191347.1028
Harrison6305.0213

Receiving Leaders

UCFRECYDSAVGTDLG
Aiken35518.3132
Ross44010.0017
Southern MissRECYDSAVGTDLG
Magee6406.709
Baptiste5377.4014

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERUCFUSM
TD09:51Tory Harrison 2 Yd Run (Justin Estes Kick)
Drive: 11 plays, 74 yds, 5:09
07
TD03:13Kevin Smith 1 Yd Run (Michael Torres Kick)
Drive: 9 plays, 39 yds, 4:32
77
SECOND QUARTERUCFUSM
FG11:27Justin Estes 32 Yd
Drive: 15 plays, 44 yds, 6:34
710
TD07:21Kevin Smith 5 Yd Run (Michael Torres Kick)
Drive: 5 plays, 63 yds, 2:25
1410
TD01:28Brian Watters 8 Yd Pass From Kyle Israel (Michael Torres Kick)
Drive: 9 plays, 90 yds, 4:40
2110
THIRD QUARTERUCFUSM
FG11:08Michael Torres 41 Yd
Drive: 8 plays, 56 yds, 3:52
2410
TD09:59Tory Harrison 4 Yd Run (Justin Estes Kick)
Drive: 5 plays, 51 yds, 1:09
2417
TD01:03Kamar Aiken 8 Yd Pass From Kyle Israel (Michael Torres Kick)
Drive: 16 plays, 80 yds, 8:56
3117
FOURTH QUARTERUCFUSM
FG09:18Michael Torres 31 Yd
Drive: 10 plays, 26 yds, 5:36
3417