HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) -- Quarterback Paul Smith ran for three
touchdowns and passed for another, and Conference USA newcomer
Tulsa gave Southern Mississippi a rare league loss at home, 34-17
on Saturday night.
Uril Parrish rushed for 135 yards and Garrett Mills caught eight
passes for 115 yards for Tulsa, which outgained Southern Miss
Smith had three 1-yard sneaks in the second half after his
3-yard scoring pass to Mills came just before halftime.
They helped the Golden Hurricane (3-3, 2-1 C-USA) bounce back
from a bitter 30-23 loss to Houston last week in which Tulsa's
potential game-tying drive was thwarted by a late fumble.
The Golden Hurricane ensured this one wouldn't come down to the
wire by outscoring Southern Miss 27-7 in the second half and giving
the Golden Eagles (2-2, 1-1) just their sixth Conference USA home
loss in the past decade.
Smith finished 21-of-35 passing for 232 yards.
Tulsa's maligned run defense, which entered next-to-last in the
conference and 109th among 117 teams in I-A, held Southern Miss to
just 37 yards rushing on 16 carries.
Dustin Almond was 12-of-29 passing for 132 yards, but he threw
four interceptions, and Tulsa scored 17 points off three of them.
Brad DeVault kicked field goals of 37 and 45 yards for Tulsa.
Southern Miss scored its two touchdowns directly off
interceptions by Jasper Faulk.
Faulk returned one 49 yards for a touchdown, and his second set
up Almond's 2-yard keeper which gave Southern Miss a short-lived
Losses by Southern Miss and UAB left league newcomer Central
Florida -- which was winless a season ago -- as the only East
Division team unbeaten in Conference USA play.