Southern Miss. 44, Memphis 7

Austin Davis passed for 277 yards and two scores, and ran for

another as Southern Mississippi breezed past Memphis 44-7

Saturday.

Davis completed 14 of 26 passes to give the Golden Eagles (10-2)

their first Conference USA Eastern Division title since 2006 and

their first 10-win season since 1988.

Southern Mississippi will play at No. 8-ranked Houston in the

conference championship game next Saturday.

A week after falling from all three major polls with a 34-31

loss to UAB, Southern Miss came out firing and outgained Memphis

540 yards to 174 and racked up 25 first downs.

The Tigers (2-10) have now won five games in the past three

seasons combined.

Southern Miss running back Desmond Johnson rushed for 103 yards

on 11 carries.

Tracy Lampley added 44 yards on seven carries and caught five

passes for 116 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown from Davis on a

flea-flicker.

Southern Miss kicker Danny Hrapmann was 3-of-3 on field goal

attempts and 5-of-5 on extra points.

The Golden Eagles defense forced three turnovers and returned a

pair of interceptions for touchdowns.

The first came with just over a minute left in the first half on

a 35-yard return by Deron Wilson. The second was a 100-yard return

by Kendrick Presley with 1:17 left in the third quarter.

Memphis (2-10) managed just 21 rushing yards on 23 attempts. The

Tigers narrowly avoided a shutout with a late defensive score when

Mitch Huelsing recovered a Southern Miss fumble in the end zone for

a touchdown with 6:54 remaining.

Tigers quarterback Andy Summerlin completed 21 of his 45

attempts for 174 yards.