Scores

Final

Middle Tennessee 42

(7-4, 5-2 C-USA)

Southern Miss 21

(0-11, 0-7 C-USA)

3:30 PM ET, November 23, 2013

M. M. Roberts Stadium, Hattiesburg, MS

1 2 3 4 T
MTU 7 21 0 1442
USM 7 0 7 721

Top Performers

Passing: N. Mullens (USM) - 289 YDS, 3 TD, 2 INT

Rushing: S. Tucker (MTU) - 19 CAR, 103 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: M. Triplett (USM) - 6 REC, 101 YDS

Middle Tennessee rolls past Southern Miss 42-21

Associated Press

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Middle Tennessee returned two interceptions for touchdowns in the first half Saturday afternoon as the Blue Raiders posted a 42-21 victory over winless Southern Miss.

Linebacker T.T. Barber gave MTSU (7-4, 5-2 Conference USA) a 7-0 lead with a 24-yard interception return with 6:56 left in the first quarter.

Then, after tying the game for Southern Miss with an 11-yard scoring strike to Dominique Sullivan, Nick Mullens sailed a pass that MTSU safety Kevin Byard intercepted and returned 51 yards to put the Blue Raiders on top for good.

MTSU won its fourth consecutive game. The Golden Eagles (0-11, 0-7) extended the Football Bowl Series' longest losing streak to 23 games, including a string of 11 home losses.

Southern Miss moved the ball effectively in the first quarter, outgaining MTSU 147 yards to 37 yards total offense. But an opening drive came up barren when Corey Acosta's 29-yard field goal attempt clanked off the top of the left upright, and Mullens' miscues shifted momentum to the visitors' sideline.

After a slow start, MTSU's offense got in gear in the second quarter, with running back Shane Tucker scoring on a 3-yard run and quarterback Logan Kilgore finding receiver Tavarres Jefferson for a 16-yard touchdown for a 28-7 halftime lead.

Southern Miss got within 28-14 late in the third quarter on Mullens' 14-yard pass to running back Kendrick Hardy, but Tucker scored his second touchdown of the game on a 4-yard run and Corey Carmichael added a 32-yard touchdown run to rebuild MTSU's cushion.

Mullens threw a career-high third TD pass, a 13-yarder to receiver Tyre'oune Holmes, to wrap up the scoring with 2:33 to play

MTSU, which came into the game ranked third nationally with 28 takeaways, added another pair in the first half.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
MTU
USM
1st Downs2322
Total Yards418371
Passing172289
Rushing24682
Penalties3-403-25
3rd Down Conversions5-134-16
4th Down Conversions0-01-2
Turnovers02
Possession26:2033:40

Passing Leaders

Middle TennesseeC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Kilgore11/251726.910
Southern MissC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Mullens27/472896.132

Rushing Leaders

Middle TennesseeCARYDSAVGTDLG
Tucker191035.4220
Bryson14805.7019
Southern MissCARYDSAVGTDLG
Richard11696.3015
Hardy11534.8022

Receiving Leaders

Middle TennesseeRECYDSAVGTDLG
Henry45313.3027
Clarke14242.0042
Southern MissRECYDSAVGTDLG
Triplett610116.8029
Sullivan45614.0121

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERMTUUSM
TD06:56T.T. Barber 24 Yd Interception Return (Cody Clark Kick) 70
TD01:18Dominique Sullivan 11 Yd Pass From Nick Mullens (Corey Acosta Kick) 77
SECOND QUARTERMTUUSM
TD13:33Kevin Byard 51 Yd Interception Return (Cody Clark Kick) 147
TD02:53Shane Tucker 3 Yd Run (Cody Clark Kick) 217
TD00:28Tavarres Jefferson 16 Yd Pass From Logan Kilgore (Cody Clark Kick) 287
THIRD QUARTERMTUUSM
TD01:27Kendrick Hardy 14 Yd Pass From Nick Mullens (Corey Acosta Kick) 2814
FOURTH QUARTERMTUUSM
TD09:12Shane Tucker 4 Yd Run (Cody Clark Kick) 3514
TD06:36Corey Carmichael 32 Yd Run (Cody Clark Kick) 4214
TD02:33Tyre'oune Holmes 13 Yd Pass From Nick Mullens (Corey Acosta Kick) 4221