BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Dustin Almond threw three touchdown
passes and Southern Mississippi held off a second-half rally by UAB
for a 37-28 victory Friday night.
The Golden Eagles (4-2, 3-1 Conference USA) took a 17-0 lead,
but the Blazers got within 34-28 with 5:51 to play on an 11-yard
pass from Darrell Hackney to Chico Cleveland.
The Golden Eagles put the game away with a 73-yard drive that
was capped by a 20-yard field goal by Darren McCaleb with 50
seconds to play.
Southern Miss has won four of five games, while the Blazers
dropped their third straight.
Almond finished 18-of-33 for 247 yards.
Hackney was 29-of-42 for 407 yards and three touchdowns for UAB
(3-4, 1-3). Jhun Cook caught six passes for 127 yards and a
touchdown for UAB and Lance Rhodes had five catches for 115 yards.
McCaleb also had field goals of 47 and 44 yards for the Golden
Larry Thomas ran 28 times for 129 yards for Southern Miss, which
held UAB to 80 yards on the ground.
Southern Miss went up 17-0 in the first quarter thanks partly to
special teams mistakes by the Blazers.
The Golden Eagles started their second possession on the UAB 35
after a 23-yard punt return by Chris Johnson. The Blazers' defense
held and forced a Southern Miss punt, but an offsides penalty
against UAB gave the Golden Eagles the first down and set up
McCaleb's 47-yard field goal.
The Golden Eagles expanded the lead to 10-0 on their next
possession on a 25-yard pass from Almond to Damion Carter. The
six-play, 74-yard drive was kept alive because of a roughing the
kicker penalty after the Blazers had forced the Golden Eagles to
Josh Barnes scored on a 34-yard run for Southern Miss late in
the first quarter.
The Blazers did not get a first down until the second quarter
and did not move into Southern Miss territory until the final five
minutes of the first half, when UAB drove 89 yards in 18 plays.
Rhodes got the Blazers on the scoreboard with 24 seconds remaining
in the half, catching a 17-yard pass from Hackney.