HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - Jack Abraham passed for 428 yards and four touchdowns and Southern Miss rolled to a 40-22 victory over Rice on Saturday in the Conference USA opener for both teams.
Abraham, a sophomore, completed 25 of 34 passes and finished with the fourth-highest single-game yardage total in Golden Eagles history.
Southern Miss (2-1) jumped out to a 10-0 first-quarter lead on Parker Shaunfield’s 28-yard field goal and Abraham’s 28-yard scoring strike to Quez Watkins.
The Owls (1-3) pulled within two points by quarter’s end on Austin Walter’s 62-yard TD run and a 2-point conversion run by Jordan Myers.
Abraham connected with Tez Parks for a 14-yard TD and a 17-8 lead early in the second quarter. Rice again cut its deficit to two on Aaron Cephus' 5-yard pass from Shawn Stankavage, but the Golden Eagles answered with Steven Anderson’s 1-yard plunge to lead 24-15 at halftime.
Abraham sandwiched TD passes to Jaylond Adams and Tim Jones around Shaunfield’s 44-yard field goal to pull away in the second half.
It marked the eighth straight meeting that the winning team has scored at least 40 points.