Southern Miss football celebrates 100th victory under Bower
Published: Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Updated: Sunday, May 17, 2009 19:05
Southern Miss football ran its all-time record against the Alabama-Birmingham Blazers to 6-0 before a national ESPN television audience with a 37-28 win.
The game marked another milestone: Jeff Bower's 100th victory as head coach.
"It is special," Bower said after the game. "I haven't said anything all week long. I think everybody thinks if you talk about it, you're going to jinx it. I haven't even mentioned it. My wife hasn't mentioned it. Nobody on this football team has mentioned it . My only regret is that my wife isn't here. I wish she was here to spend it with me."
Southern Miss leapt to an early 17-0 lead behind Darren McCaleb's school record-tying 41st career field goal and a pair of touchdowns. The first was a juggling reception by Damion Carter from 25 yards out, and the second was a 34 yard reverse by receiver Josh Barnes. UAB answered behind the throwing arm of quarterback Darrell Hackney, who struck Lance Rhodes in the second quarter to close the gap to 17-7.
Dustin Almond opened the second half scoring with a 14-yard pass to Barnes, only to see Hackney match the effort with a 58- yard pass to Jhun Cook that made the score 24-14. UAB would get within three points on a one-yard touchdown run by Corey White at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but the Golden Eagles answered with an impressive 74 yard drive, which Almond capped off by hitting tight end Shawn Nelson for a 10-yard touchdown.
Defensive back Eddie Willingham interception Hackney on the Blazers' next drive, setting up another McCaleb field goal-the 42nd of his career, a school record-and extending the Golden Eagle lead to 34-21. Hackney responded with another touchdown, but Southern Miss, behind the solid running of Larry Thomas, was able to drain the clock and added yet another McCaleb field goal to make the final margin 37-28.
Southern Miss faces NC State next week at 11 a.m. The game will be televised by ESPNU.