HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - Jack Abraham passed for 351 yards and three touchdowns and Southern Mississippi rolled to a 31-13 victory over UTEP in a Conference USA opener on Saturday.
The Golden Eagles (3-2) took the lead for good on their first possession. Abraham hit De'Michael Harris for a 74-yard scoring strike on third-and-14 for a 7-0 lead. Southern Miss made it 14-0 after Jordan Mitchell blocked a punt and recovered the ball at the UTEP 2-yard line. Harris ran it in two plays later. The Miners (1-3) put together two long drives in the second quarter but had to settle for two Gavin Baechle field goals and trailed 24-6 at halftime.
Kai Locksley broke loose for a 63-yard touchdown run on UTEP's first play of the third quarter to get the Miners within 24-13, but Abraham directed a 10-play, 82-yard drive, capped by his 6-yard TD toss to Jaylond Adams to provide the final margin of victory.
Locksley completed 8 of 15 passes for 109 yards and led the Miners with 114 yards rushing on 12 carries. The rest of UTEP's rushers managed just 12 yards on 13 carries.
Kevin Perkins and Harris combined to rush for 127 yards on 22 totes for Southern Miss.