(Thursday, November 17th)
Final Score: UAB 34, (22) Southern Mississippi 31
Birmingham, AL (Sports Network) - Ty Long kicked the game-winning field goal late in the fourth quarter and the UAB defense stood tall en route to a 34-31 upset over No. 22 Southern Mississippi at Legion Field.
With the game tied at 31, UAB (3-8, 3-5 C-USA) used a 13-play, 49-yard drive -- sparked by a huge 32-yard completion to Patrick Hearn on 3rd-and-4 -- to reach the Southern Mississippi 20, before Long was good from 38 yards out with 3:04 to go in the game.
The Golden Eagles (9-2, 5-2) moved the ball to UAB's 44 and faced a crucial 3rd-and-5. Austin Davis completed a short pass to Quentin Pierce, but the play was negated by a 15-yard personal foul due to a chop block.
On 3rd-and-20, Davis completed a pass to Ryan Balentine for 14 yards, setting up a 4th-and-6. Davis' next pass was batted down and UAB held on for its first win over a ranked opponent since November 6, 1999.
Jonathan Perry threw for 236 yards with one touchdown through the air and one on the ground, while Greg Franklin and Darrin Reaves added rushing scores.
Jackie Williams hauled in five passes for 78 yards and D.J. Vinson caught a touchdown for the Blazers.
Davis threw for 264 yards, two scores and one interception and rushed for one touchdown, while Balentine, Kelvin Bolden and Ryan Hanks caught touchdown passes for the Golden Eagles.
UAB started the game with the ball, but a fumble saw Southern Mississippi take over on the UAB 34.
The Golden Eagles needed only one play -- a 34-yard strike from Davis to Balentine -- to take the quick 7-0 lead.
Following the score, Southern Mississippi went for an onside kick and recovered it at its own 43. The Golden Eagles used another quick drive -- three plays and 57 yards -- before Davis found Bolden in the corner of the end zone for a 38-yard touchdown pass and a 14-0 lead.
The Blazers cut it to a one-score game with a 12-play, 79-yard drive that resulted in a Perry three-yard touchdown pass to Vinson to make it 14-7 with under six minutes to play in the opening quarter.
On the ensuing Southern Mississippi drive, Davis was picked off by Marquis Coleman, who returned it all the way to the 19.
From there, the Blazers moved down to the two-yard line, where Reaves walked into the end zone untouched for a two-yard touchdown run to tie it with 2:38 left in the first.
Early in the second quarter, Southern Mississippi used a little trickery to jump back on top, 21-14. Facing a 4th-and-8 from the UAB 10, the Golden Eagles lined up for the field goal, but the snap went to holder Peter Boehme, who rolled to his right and connected with Hanks for a 10-yard score.
On the ensuing possession, UAB responded with a 10-play, 72-yard drive that was finished on a Perry quarterback draw for a three-yard score.
A Long 30-yard field goal with 19 seconds remaining in the half gave the Blazers a 24-21 lead.
After the break, Danny Hrapmann connected on a 22-yard field goal to cap a 10-play, 59-yard march to tie the game with just over 10 1/2 minutes to go in the third quarter.
Early in the final quarter, UAB snagged a 31-24 lead when Perry led a 10-play, 80-yard drive before Franklin pushed his way into the end zone from three yards out to give his team the lead.
On the ensuing drive though, the Golden Eagles responded with a score of their own when Davis bowled his way across the goal line from the one-yard line on 4th-and-goal to finish off an eight-play, 59-yard march.
Southern Miss holds a 9-3 series record over UAB...The 24 points is the highest point total UAB has scored in the first half this season...UAB has now won three consecutive games against Southern Mississippi...With the loss, Southern Mississippi squandered a chance to clinch the Conference-USA East Division title for the first time in five years.
11/18 01:36:22 ET