Southern Miss hangs on to CUSA hopes

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Darren McCaleb kicked a 34-yard field
goal in overtime to lift Southern Mississippi to a 27-24 victory
over Marshall on Tuesday night.

Southern Miss (5-3, 4-1 Conference USA) blew a double-digit lead
for the second straight game. Unlike a 21-17 loss at North Carolina
State on Oct. 29, the Golden Eagles recovered.

Marshall failed to score in overtime when freshman David
DeFatta's 27-yard field goal attempt bounced off the left upright.

Southern Miss' Jasper Faulk blocked DeFatta's 24-yard field goal
attempt as time expired in the fourth quarter. DeFatta had replaced
Ian O'Connor earlier in the game after O'Connor had a field goal
blocked and had a kickoff go out of bounds.

Southern Miss is 2-1 during a stretch of four straight road
games and moved within a win of first-place Central Florida in the
East Division. The Golden Eagles must play at Houston on Sunday, a
game postponed from Sept. 24 because of Hurricane Rita.

League newcomer Marshall (4-5, 3-3) was eliminated from the East
race and is one loss away from its first losing season since 1983.

The Thundering Herd have fallen twice at home this season, the
first time that's happened in a decade. It was only the ninth home
loss for Marshall since its stadium opened in 1991.

Marshall trailed 24-10 before backup quarterback Jimmy Skinner
led the Thundering Herd to two fourth-quarter touchdowns in place
of Bernie Morris, who left the game with an injured foot.

Shaun Lauzon was ruled out of bounds when he caught a 10-yard
pass from Skinner in the end zone, but a replay official ruled it a
touchdown. It was the fifth play to be overturned by the booth in
the conference this season.

Marshall's Chris Royal then returned a punt 33 yards to the
Southern Miss 30, and Ahmad Bradshaw eventually scored from 1 yard
out to tie it at 24-24 with 8:32 left.

Bradshaw finished with a career-high 147 yards on 28 carries.

Southern Miss' Dustin Almond completed 17 of 28 passes for 224
yards but was limited to 59 yards after halftime.

He threw a 58-yard touchdown pass to Pedi Causey in the second
quarter and his 32-yard pass to Anthony Perine helped set up Cole
Mason's 2-yard TD run at the end of the third.

Southern Miss' Larry Thomas ran for 115 yards on 24 carries,
including a 3-yard TD.