(Saturday, September 12th)
Final Score: Southern Mississippi 26, UCF 19
Hattiesburg, MS (Sports Network) - Damion Fletcher ran for 103 yards and a touchdown, helping the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles down the UCF Knights, 26-19, in Conference USA action at Roberts Stadium.
Fletcher also grabbed six passes for 51 yards for USM (2-0, 1-0 CUSA), which trounced Alcorn State 52-0 in its opener last week. Austin Davis had a solid game under center and he finished with 253 yards and a touchdown on 23-of-33 tosses.
Brett Hodges guided UCF (1-1, 0-1) in the loss, converting 15-of-26 tosses for 158 yards and two scores. Rocky Ross hauled in five of those passes for 56 yards and a score, while Kamar Aiken posted four receptions for 53 yards and a touchdown. The Knights, who escaped with a 28-24 victory over Samford in their opener, managed just 15 rushing yards in the loss.
The Eagles' defense got things started with a 22-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by Martez Smith midway through the first quarter. Just over three minutes later, USM made it 14-0 behind an 18-yard scoring strike from Davis to Leroy Banks.
After the two teams traded field goals in the second quarter, Hodges found Aiken from four yards out to pull UCF within a touchdown at 17-10.
Justin Estes, though, hit a 36-yard field goal on the last play before the half, giving USM a 20-10 advantage at the break.
Following a scoreless third quarter, UCF's Nick Cattoi made a 50-yard field goal to bring the Knights within a touchdown early in the fourth period.
The Eagles, though, gave themselves some breathing room courtesy of a five- yard touchdown run by Fletcher with just under two minutes to play.
UCF responded immediately with a five-yard touchdown pass from Hodges to Ross, but the Knights could not recover the onside kick with just over a minute remaining.
The Eagles gained 409 yards of offense on the night, while the Knights managed just 194 yards.
09/12 23:52:46 ET