Led by backup quarterback Keon Howard’s 220 yard, three touchdown performance, Southern Miss walked out of San Antonio’s Alamo Bowl Saturday night with a much needed 31-29 conference victory.
The scoring began early for the Golden Eagles, as Howard found junior Jay’Shawn Washington for a 32 yard touchdown pass with 9:37 remaining in the first quarter to put the Golden Eagles up 7-3.
USM wouldn’t score again until the third quarter when Howard would find junior Korey Robertson for a 20 yard touchdown reception and then one minute and 47 seconds later, freshman standout, Quez Watkins, for a 48 yard touchdown pass to put USM up 21- 13 heading into the fourth quarter.
Senior running back Ito Smith, Jr. would make his presence felt early in the fourth quarter when he took a handoff 89 yards to the end zone to put the Golden Eagles in control 28-13 with 13:20 remaining in the game. Junior placekicker Parker Shaunfield would finish off the scoring for the Golden Eagles with a 24 yard field goal to put USM up 31-23 with one minute 56 seconds remaining in the contest.
A last gasp touchdown by the Roadrunners would put UTSA within a two point conversion of tying the game with 48 seconds left, but the two point attempt would fail, thus sealing a much needed victory for the Golden Eagles.
USM will host UTEP at M.M. Roberts Stadium this Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.