Scores

Final

LA-Lafayette 21

(0-1, 0-1 away)

Southern Miss 51

(1-0, 1-0 home)

7:00 PM ET, August 30, 2008

M. M. Roberts Stadium, Hattiesburg, MS

1 2 3 4 T
ULL 0 14 0 721
USM 14 20 10 751

Top Performers

Passing: A. Davis (USM) - 206 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: D. Fletcher (USM) - 21 CAR, 222 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: D. Brown (USM) - 4 REC, 92 YDS, 1 TD

Southern Miss. 51, Louisiana-Lafayette 21

Associated Press

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) -- For the first time in 18 seasons, Southern Mississippi had a rookie head coaching roaming the sidelines.

Fortunately for the Golden Eagles, they had a veteran in the backfield.

Junior tailback Damion Fletcher rushed for a career high 222 yards and two touchdowns as Southern Mississippi (1-0) won Larry Fedora's debut as a head coach 51-21 Saturday night over Louisiana-Lafayette (0-1) before a crowd of 32,792 at M.M. Roberts Stadium.

Fedora, formerly the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma St., replaced longtime Golden Eagles head coach Jeff Bower and watched as his team rolled up 633 yards of total offense.

"That's just one down and a bunch to go," Fedora said. "We did some good things offensively and on defense we created some opportunities for us to take advantage of. That's always a good combination."

Fletcher picked up 184 yards on 16 carries and had two scores in the first half, as USM (1-0) took a quick 21-0 lead and went on to a 34-14 halftime advantage.

The Golden Eagles would rush for 406 yards in the win.

"I just ran hard and we had fun," Fletcher said. "The offensive line did a great job, the holes were always there all I had to do was run through them."

With USM comfortably ahead, he only ran the ball five times in the second half but was able to break his previous career high of 211 yards against Texas El-Paso last year.

Golden Eagles quarterback Austin Davis, in his first start for USM, ran for two touchdowns in the first half and threw for another as well. He later added another late scoring pass.

Fletcher had scoring runs of 14 and 6 yards, while Davis had a pair of 1-yard keepers.

With his first scoring run, Fletcher became just the fourth back in USM history to rush for more than 3,000 yards in a career.

Davis hit Ed Morgan on a 23-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.

The Ragin-Cajuns (0-1) managed a pair of touchdown runs, a 1-yarder by Julian Shankle and a 3-yarder by Tyrell Fentroy, in the first half. The Golden Eagles went right back to work in the third quarter, as Britt Barefoot kicked a 25 yard field goal and Bubba Kirksey scored on a 3-yard run to make it 44-14.

In a reserve role, Kirksey ran for 110 yards on 20 carries as USM rolled up 406 yards on the ground. Davis ended his night with a 30-yard touchdown pass to highly touted freshman DeAndre Brown with 13:53 to play. Davis completed 14-of-21 passes for 206 yards and the two scores.

"It was a good beginning, but we have lot of work left to do," Fedora said. "But I saw a lot of positive things we can build on."

Southern Mississippi travels to Auburn next while the Ragin Cajuns take a week off before traveling to Illinois.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
ULL
USM
1st Downs2130
Total Yards394633
Passing131206
Rushing263427
Penalties8-538-70
3rd Down Conversions2-118-15
4th Down Conversions0-02-2
Turnovers42
Possession25:4234:18

Passing Leaders

Louisiana-LafayetteC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Desormeaux9/20984.902
Southern MissC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Davis14/212069.821

Rushing Leaders

Louisiana-LafayetteCARYDSAVGTDLG
Desormeaux161469.1051
Fenroy13564.3111
Southern MissCARYDSAVGTDLG
Fletcher2122210.6245
Kirksey201105.5130

Receiving Leaders

Louisiana-LafayetteRECYDSAVGTDLG
Chery34715.7023
Hill12121.0121
Southern MissRECYDSAVGTDLG
Brown49223.0148
Nelson33511.7025

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERULLUSM
TD11:08Damion Fletcher 14 Yd Run (Britt Barefoot Kick)
Drive: 5 plays, 56 yds, 1:42
07
TD04:49Ed Morgan 23 Yd Pass From Austin Davis (Britt Barefoot Kick)
Drive: 2 plays, 58 yds, :18
014
SECOND QUARTERULLUSM
TD13:51Austin Davis 1 Yd Run (Britt Barefoot Kick)
Drive: 16 plays, 68 yds, 4:28
021
TD08:12Julian Shankle 1 Yd Run (Drew Edmiston Kick)
Drive: 7 plays, 59 yds, 2:18
721
TD06:31Damion Fletcher 6 Yd Run (Britt Barefoot Kick)
Drive: 5 plays, 80 yds, 1:37
728
TD01:56Tyrell Fenroy 3 Yd Run (Drew Edmiston Kick)
Drive: 12 plays, 75 yds, 4:27
1428
TD00:13Austin Davis 1 Yd Run (Pat Failed)
Drive: 6 plays, 78 yds, 1:38
1434
THIRD QUARTERULLUSM
FG10:49Britt Barefoot 25 Yd
Drive: 10 plays, 61 yds, 4:04
1437
TD04:09Bubba Kirksey 3 Yd Run (Britt Barefoot Kick)
Drive: 10 plays, 82 yds, 3:50
1444
FOURTH QUARTERULLUSM
TD13:53Deandre Brown 29 Yd Pass From Austin Davis (Britt Barefoot Kick) 1451
TD08:55Pierre Hill 21 Yd Pass From Brad Mcguire (Drew Edmiston Kick) 2151