USM pulls off last-second thriller to top Texas St.
SAN MARCOS, Texas. (WDAM) - Just when pretty much all seemed lost for the University of Southern Mississippi, the Golden Eagles came up with the improbable play to earn the victory.
USM saw a six-point lead disappear after a 74-yard touchdown pass by Texas State University less than a minute earlier.
Facing a fourth-and-4 at his own 47-yard line with less than 45 seconds to play, USM quarterback Zach Wilcke avoided a rush by slipping to his right before throwing a back-footed dart to a wide-open Chandler Pittman at Texas State’s 25-yard line.
Pittman did the rest, cutting back to the middle of the field before angling into the end zone to complete a 53-yard touchdown as USM pulled out a 20-14 victory.
The Golden Eagles (4-3, 2-1 Sun Belt Conference) won their second consecutive game and fourth in the last five to post a winning record for the first time since 2019.
Texas State (3-5, 1-3), which trailed for nearly the entire game, took a 14-13 lead on a 74-yard catch-and-run from Layne Hatcher to Ashtyn Hawkins to cap an 85-yard drive.
Prior to the drive, Texas State had managed just 33 yards of offense in the second half and trailed the Golden Eagles 13-7.
A pair of Briggs Bourgeois’ field goals and a 2-yard touchdown run by Janari Dean had USM up, 13-7, at halftime at Texas State University Saturday.
Bourgeois hit a 33-yard field goal for the only score in the first quarter, then added a 40-yard field goal on first half’s final play.
Dean’s scoring run came in the second quarter and gave USM a 10-0 lead at the time.
Texas State cut the lead to 10-7 with its lone score of the first half, a 4-yard touchdown pass from Hatcher to Javen Banks.
Both offenses struggled in a scoreless third quarter.
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