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Southern Miss beats UNT 30-20, gets first CUSA win of 2014

Golden Eagles put up 500+ yards on offense, win first CUSA game of 2014

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Southern Miss won their first CUSA game of the season as they went to Denton, TX and beat North Texas 30-20. The Golden Eagles jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the 1st quarter thanks to a Nick Mullens 40 yard touchdown completion to Michael Thomas and a Corey Acosta field goal 38 yard field goal.

UNT came back in the second quarter and scored 13 unanswered points and took a 13-10 lead before Corey Acosta kicked another field goal for Southern Miss to make it a 13-13 game at halftime.

Southern Miss opened up the second half with a 13 play, 77 yard drive that was capped off by a 5 yard touchdown run by George Payne. UNT responded with a touchdown of their own in the form of 27 yard run by Reggie Pegram. That tied the game at 20 with 6:08 remaining in the third quarter.

The Golden Eagles got the ball back but were backed up near their own endzone as Michael Thomas muffed the kickoff and only brought it out to the USM 4 yard line. However, Southern Miss overcame that adversity, drove 96 yards, and scored on a Mullens 19 yard pass to Casey Martin to take the lead again. Southern Miss made it a two possession game early in the 4th quarter as Corey Acosta remained solid and nailed another 38 yard field goal. The Golden Eagles' defense played nicely for the remainder of the game and sealed the 30-20 win.

Nick Mullens led the USM offense with another 300+ yard passing performance and two touchdowns. He completed passes to 10 different Golden Eagle receivers. Southern Miss also had 201 yards on the ground, led by Ito Smith with 95 yards on 12 carries. George Payne also had 67 yards and a touchdown.

Southern Miss is now 3-4 (1-2 in CUSA) and will come back to Hattiesburg for a showdown with regional Conference USA foe Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs are 3-0 in CUSA play and are leading the West division. North Texas is now 2-5 (0-3in CUSA) and will travel to Houston for a road game against Rice next weekend.