Southern Miss stumbles

Published 6:00 am Monday, November 14, 2005

HOUSTON (AP) – Quarterback Kevin Kolb threw for 315 yards andtwo fourth-quarter touchdowns and Ryan Gilbert rushed for a careerhigh 144 yards to lead Houston to a 27-24 victory over SouthernMississippi on Sunday.

Houston (5-4, 3-3 Conference USA) ended a six-game losing streakto the Golden Eagles (5-4, 4-2) in a game rescheduled due toHurricane Rita in September.

Kolb threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Marshall with12:53 remaining in the fourth quarter to give the Cougars a 20-10lead.

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Southern Miss answered with an 84-yard drive highlighted by a43-yard pass from Dustin Almond to Tavarras Williams to the Houston1. Cole Mason scored on the next play to make it 20-17 with 9:25left in the game.

Kolb hit Marshall with an 83-yard touchdown pass with 9:04 toplay for a 27-17 lead. Marshall had seven catches for 129yards.

Kevis Coley helped keep Southern Miss alive when he recovered aGilbert fumble at the Houston 44 with 2:40 left in the game.Almond, who hit 23 of 45 for 295 yards, covered the ground in twopasses, including a 5-yard touchdown to Barnes to make it 27-24with 2:17 to play.

The Eagles recovered the onside kick and Almond drove them tothe Houston 35 before fumbling. Houston’s Kade Lane recovered thefumble with 1:27 left to end the threat.

Southern Miss jumped to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter on a41-yard field goal by Darren McCaleb and a 9-yard pass from Almondto Barnes.

Kolb brought Houston back with a 7-play, 66-yard drive capped byGilbert’s 8-yard touchdown run. He then hit 7-of-9 passes for 79yards the last three minutes of the second quarter to lead Houstonto a 24-yard Ben Bell field goal that tied it at 10 as time expiredin the first half.

Bell gave Houston its first lead of the game, 13-10, in thethird quarter with a 30-yard field goal.