Recap: UAB vs. Southern Miss
Birmingham, AL (SportsNetwork.com) - Nick Mullens threw for a career-high five touchdown passes and ran for another, as the Southern Miss Golden Eagles snapped a 23-game losing streak in blowout fashion, topping the UAB Blazers by a 62-27 margin in the Conference USA regular-season finale at Legion Field.
Mullens finished the day with 370 yards on 24-of-39 passing, as five different receivers caught touchdowns. Kendrick Hardy powered the ground game with 20 carries for 106 yards and two touchdowns to help the Golden Eagles (1-11, 1-7 C-USA) put an end to the nation's longest losing streak.
Jonathan Perry completed 18-of-31 passes for 286 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for the Blazers (2-10, 1-7), who suffered their sixth straight loss. Jamarcus Nelson was on the receiving end of both TD passes and finished with 117 yards on five catches.
Southern Miss opened the game with an eight-play scoring drive, as Mullens found Tyre'oune Holmes for a three-yard touchdown pass to stake the visitors an early lead.
UAB answered right back with a seven-play, 79-yard drive, capped by Darrin Reaves' three-yard touchdown run.
The Blazers took their first lead on Perry's 48-yard scoring strike to Nelson with 23 seconds to play in the opening frame.
Southern Miss cut the deficit to 14-10 following a 30-yard field goal by Corey Acosta at the 12:03 mark of the second quarter. Acosta added a 25-yarder midway through the same quarter to make it a 14-13 game.
UAB stretched the margin to 21-13 on Darius Powell's 23-yard scoring scamper with 4:25 to play in the half.
But Southern Miss came out strong to start the second half, as Mullens found Dominique Sullivan for a 43-yard touchdown pass on the Golden Eagles' third play from scrimmage.
On the very next series, the USM defense recovered a fumble at the UAB 36. Two plays later, Mullens connected with James Cox for a 21-yard scoring strike to give the Golden Eagles a 27-21 lead.
Nelson lost a fumble at the Blazers' 24 on the ensuing kickoff. Mullens capitalized with a one-yard touchdown plunge to open up a 34-21 advantage.
USM continued to pad its lead later in the third quarter and into the fourth. Marquise Ricard scored on a 37-yard pass from Mullens at the 3:04 mark of the third, and Hardy made it a 48-21 game with a three-yard TD scamper at the 12- minute mark of the fourth.
UAB finally answered with a 21-yard scoring strike from Perry to Nelson with 9:41 to play, but the damage had already been done.
USM tacked on two more TDs; a 19-yard pass from Mullens to Markese Triplett with seven minutes remaining, and a three-yard run by Hardy in the final seconds.
Thanks to today's victory, Southern Miss avoided becoming only the second team in the last 30 years to suffer back-to-back winless seasons.Game Notes