USM rallies in 4th quarter Saturday for 20-19 homecoming win
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi shut out visiting Arkansas State University in the final quarter to help the Golden Eagles rally for a 20-19 homecoming victory Saturday night at M.M. Roberts Stadium.
Frank Gore Jr. and Janari Dean each rushed for a touchdown in the game’s final 10 minutes, with Dean’s 3-yard run with 2 minutes, 12 seconds, to play giving USM its first and final lead of the game.
The comeback gave Coach Will Hall and his Golden Eagles their first Sun Belt Conference football victory.
The Golden Eagles (3-3, 1-1 Sun Belt) never had the lead through the game’s first 56-plus minutes, trailing by as much as 10-0 in the first half and 19-7 with 1:05 to play in the third quarter.
That changed, with quarterback Jake Lange relieving freshman starter Zach Wilke.
Wilcke completed 11-of-20 passes for 132 yards, including a 23-yard scoring toss to Jayson Brownlee for the Golden Eagles’ only touchdown of the game through three-plus quarters.
Lange came in, and led USM’s final, two scoring drives, completing 6-of-12 passes for 45 yards.
Gore, who netted 96 yards rushing on 19 carries, scored on a 30-yard run with 9:20 to play the fourth quarter to pull the Golden Eagles within 19-14.
Dean, who ran for 43 yards on nine carries, capped a scoring drive and the comeback with his TD run a little more than seven minutes later.
ASU (2-5, 1-3) went up on the arm of quarterback James Blackman, who completed 25-of-34 passes for 236 yards. He hooked up with receiver Jeff Foreman for scoring passes of 32 yards and 9 yards.
The Red Wolves’ other points came on a 31-yard field goal in the first half and a safety in the third quarter.
USM will travel to San Marcos, Texas, Saturday, to take on Texas State University.
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