Recap: Memphis vs. Southern Miss
Memphis, TN (Sports Network) - The Memphis Tigers ran for 275 yards and four touchdowns as they easily dismissed the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, 42-24, in Conference USA action at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
Brandon Hayes gained a game-high 115 yards for the Tigers (4-8, 4-4 C-USA) and landed in the end zone twice on 19 attempts, while Jai Steib contributed another 89 yards and two TDs on his 16 carries in the victory. Quarterback Jacob Karam hit on 12-of-18 passes for 162 yards and two scores of his own, both going to Alan Cross as Memphis closed the 2012 campaign on a three-game win streak.
The Golden Eagles (0-12, 0-8) were paced by quarterbacks Arsenio Favor and Anthony Alford who combined to convert 13-of-27 passes for 193 yards and three TDs, the duo also getting sacked four times overall as their winless season came to a close.
The first points of the outing were tallied by USM kicker Corey Acosta who knocked through a 49-yard field goal at the 8:06 mark of the first quarter.
It wasn't until early in the second that Memphis was able to respond, as the team produced three straight touchdowns to assume the lead for good.
The Tigers started the run as Steib found the end zone from four yards out, followed by a one-yard TD reception by Cross and a 13-yard scoring run by Steib again, making the score 21-3.
However, just before the end of the first half, the Golden Eagles crossed the goal line for the first time as Favor tossed a 16-yard TD pass to Jalen Richard, leaving USM trailing by a 21-10 score at the break.
The third quarter belonged solely to the Tigers as Hayes recorded scoring runs of nine and 11 yards and in between Karam combined with Cross on a 38-yard TD pass play to give the hosts a commanding 42-10 advantage heading into the fourth.
In the final period Alford and the Eagles made the final score a bit more respectable as he issued TD passes of nine and 26 yards to Quentin Pierce and Tyre Bracken, respectively.
Southern Miss, which entered the week ranked 106th in the nation in total offense with an average of 326.0 ypg, finished with a mere 288 yards on 59 plays on the day.
The Golden Eagles were the only team in the Football Bowl Subdivision to go without a single win this season. The last win for the program came against the Nevada Wolf Pack, 24-17, in last year's Hawaii Bowl.
Southern Miss had not finished a season without a win since 1925 went it went 0-6.Game Notes