Recap: Southern Miss vs. Middle Tennessee
Hattiesburg, MS (SportsNetwork.com) - Shane Tucker had two rushing touchdowns as the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders coasted past the Southern Miss Golden Eagles to a 42-21 victory in a Conference USA tilt at M.M. Roberts Stadium.
The Blue Raiders (7-4, 5-2 C-USA) were led by Logan Kilgore, who completed 11- of-25 pass attempts for 172 yards and a touchdown. Tucker contributed 103 yards on 19 carries. Marcus Henry led Middle Tennessee with four catches and 53 yards.
Nick Mullens led Southern Miss (0-11, 0-7) with 289 passing yards and three touchdown on 27-of-47 efficiency, but he was also guilty of a pair of interceptions. Jalen Richard tallied 69 rushing yards on 11 attempts. Markese Triplett led all receivers with 101 yards and six receptions.
The Blue Raiders struck first after T.T. Barber returned an interception 24 yards for a touchdown with just under seven minutes remaining in the first quarter. The Golden Eagles answered back on their next drive as they moved down the field before posting six points on the board with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Mullens to Dominique Sullivan.
USM fell behind 14-7 in the early stages of the second stanza as Mullins threw another pick which Kevin Byard returned 51 yards for a score. Tucker then scored on a three-yard touchdown run to put the Blue Raiders up 21-7 with 2:53 before the intermission. Middle Tennessee continued to pull away as Kilgore completed a 16-yard touchdown pass to Tavarres Jefferson with 28 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
The Golden Eagles struck first after the break. Mullens completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Kendrick Hardy to make it 28-14 at the 1:27 mark of the third quarter.
The Blue Raiders responded with 14 straight points to begin the fourth quarter. Shane Tucker had a four-yard touchdown rush with 9:12 remaining. Middle Tennessee followed that up with a 32-yard touchdown run by Corey Carmichael to make the score 42-14 with 6:36 left.
Mullens completed a 13-yard touchdown pass to Tyre'oune Holmes with 2:33 remaining to cut the deficit to 21 points, but neither side scored the rest of the way.
Middle Tennessee came into Saturday ranked third nationally with 28 takeaways and ended the day with two more. Byard's interception return placed him first all-time in Blue Raiders history in interception return yards.
USM has lost 23 consecutive games, giving it the longest active losing streak among FBS programs.Game Notes