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UTSA falls to Southern Miss 29-31

UTSA 29, Southern Miss 31

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Keon Howard threw three touchdown passes, and Ito Smith ran for an 89-yard score to help Southern Mississippi beat UTSA 31-29 on Saturday night.

Within a five-minute span between the third and fourth quarters, Howard threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Korey Robertson and a 48-yard TD strike to Quez Watkins. Smith capped the rally with his scoring run as Southern Miss (3-2, 1-1 Conference USA) took a 28-13 lead.

Dalton Sturm threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Marquez McNair to pull UTSA to 31-29 with 48 seconds left, but the 2-point conversion failed.

Howard was 15 of 20 for 212 yards passing. Smith ran for 178 yards on 17 carries.

Sturm threw for 367 yards and three touchdowns to lead UTSA (3-1, 0-1). Greg Campbell Jr. had 10 receptions for 108 yards, and Josh Stewart made five catches for 101 yards.

Southern Miss holds off UTSA, 31-29, on Saturday night

SAN ANTONIO — Greg Campbell Jr. and Josh Stewart each had 100-yard receiving games, but Ito Smith rushed for 178 to help lead Southern Miss to a 31-29 victory against UTSA in Conference USA action on Saturday night at the Alamodome.

Smith had 140 of his yards in the second half to help the Golden Eagles (3-2, 1-1 C-USA) rally from a 13-7 halftime deficit and hand the Roadrunners (3-1, 0-1) their first loss of the season. The running back's 89-yard dash to paydirt early in the fourth quarter helped give the visitors a 28-13 lead before UTSA mounted a furious comeback.

Dalton Sturm engineered an eight-play, 75-yard drive that was capped by the senior quarterback's 28-yard touchdown pass to Marquez McNair to make it a one-possession game with 9:48 left to play.

Eric Banks then forced a fumble of the Southern Miss quarterback which Baylen Baker recovered to give UTSA possession at the 32-yard line. Four plays later, Jared Sackett drilled his third field goal of the night from 44 yards out to pull the home team to within 28-23 with 7:33 remaining.

Southern Miss answered with a 12-play, 69-yard drive that chewed 5:37 off the clock and was capped with a 24-yard field goal by Parker Shaunfield to make it 31-23 with just under two minutes to play.

Sturm quickly led UTSA down the field and connected with McNair once again for a score, this time from 24 yards out with 48 seconds on the clock to make it a two-point game. However, the two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful, forcing the Roadrunners to attempt an onside kick, which went out of bounds.

Southern Miss took a knee on the final two plays to seal the victory and even the all-time series between the two teams.

Sturm finished with a career-high 367 passing yards and three touchdowns to help UTSA post 469 yards of offense. He completed 27 passes to eight different receivers, led by Campbell and Stewart, who became the first pair of receivers to each eclipse 100 yards in the same game. Campbell hauled in a career- and team-high 10 receptions for 108 yards, while Stewart had five catches for 101 yards and a score. Marquez McNair added 65 yards and two TDs on four catches.

Smith's 178 yards led a Southern Miss offense that churned out 246 on the ground. Keon Howard completed 15-of-20 passes for 212 yards and three touchdowns, led by Quez Watkins' five catches for 78 yards.

UTSA jumped out to a 13-7 halftime lead thanks to a pair of Sackett field goals and a Sturm-to-Stewart scoring connection.

Late in the second quarter and facing third-and-goal from the 21-yard line, Sturm escaped pressure and found Stewart, who made a diving grab in the end zone for his third touchdown of the season. Sackett's extra point gave UTSA a 10-7 advantage with 2:57 left before halftime.

Southern Miss scored 14 unanswered in the third quarter to take a 21-13 lead into the final frame.

Howard hit Korey Robertson on a fade route to help the Golden Eagles reclaim the lead with 2:52 left in the third. Howard then found Watkins open on flea-flicker for a 48-yard scoring strike near the end of the stanza to make it 21-13.

The Roadrunners will travel to Denton to face North Texas (3-2, 2-0) next Saturday, Oct. 14.Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at Apogee Stadium.

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