NEW ORLEANS – Wide receiver Quentin Pierce threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Johdrick Morris to break a fourth-quarter tie and lead Southern Miss to a 46-30 Conference USA victory over Tulane on Saturday.
Pierce took a lateral from quarterback Austin Davis and threw the touchdown pass to give Southern Miss a 37-30 lead with 12:35 left in the game.
The Golden Eagles (6-3, 3-2 Conference USA) increased their lead to 39-30 when Cordarro Law hit Green Wave quarterback Ryan Griffin, who fumbled the ball out of the end zone for a safety with 2:23 remaining.
Southern Miss completed the scoring when Alexander Walters forced and recovered a Devin Figaro fumble and ran 41 yards for a touchdown with 21 seconds remaining.
Davis passed for just 102 yards and a touchdown, completing 18 of 35 attempts, but eight Southern Miss runners combined to gain 230 yards and score two touchdowns on 41 rushes.
Tulane (3-6, 1-4) outgained the Golden Eagles 402-358 and had 11 more first downs (28-17).
The Green Wave broke a 20-20 halftime tie on the first possession of the third quarter when Orleans Darkwa ran 6 yards for a touchdown. Southern Miss tied the score two plays later when Tracy Lampley ran 60 yards for a touchdown.
Tulane's Cairo Santos made a 23-yard field goal, and the Golden Eagles' Danny Hrapmann made a 34-yarder, leaving the scored tied at 30 after three quarters.
The Golden Eagles received the opening kickoff and drove to Hrapmann's 34-yard field goal. They recovered an ensuing onside kickoff and drove to Hrapmman's 49-yard field goal and a 6-0 lead.
Southern Miss' Kendrick Hardy fumbled and Shakiel Smith recovered for the Green Wave at the Eagles' 36. Two plays later, Griffin threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Banks to give Tulane a 7-6 lead.
Reggie Hunt returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards, setting up Hardy's 1-yard touchdown run that gave Southern Miss a 13-7 lead after one quarter.
Griffin threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Cody Sparks to put the Green Wave back on top, 14-13, with 5:23 left in the second quarter.
Darkwa's 4-yard touchdown run on Tulane's next possession gave the Green Wave a 20-13 lead with 1:11 left in the second quarter.
Banks fumbled a punt and Chico Hunter recovered for the Eagles at the Green Wave 4 with 32 seconds left in the second quarter. That set up Davis' 2-yard touchdown pass to Jonathan Massey, which tied the score at 20.