- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 20, 2009

HATTIESBURG, Miss. | Southern Mississippi, after fumbling and bumbling its way through the first half Saturday, returned to form late in the game to stretch its winning streak with a 37-34 victory against struggling Virginia.

The Golden Eagles, after trailing by 17, scored two unanswered fourth-quarter touchdowns to make it eight straight, second only to Florida’s 13-game mark.

“I think it says a lot about our team,” Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora said. “I knew that we would not quit. I knew we would play all the way to the end.”

The Southern Miss offense was averaging 507.5 yards coming into the game but managed only 344 yards against Virginia, despite Damion Fletcher rushing for 115 and Tory Harrison for 101. Fletcher scored on a 6-yard run in the first quarter and a 10-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Harrison capped Southern Miss’ rally with a 57-yard touchdown run.

Austin Davis was 14-for-26 for 130 yards and a 2-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Hanks in the third quarter. He was sacked twice.

Freddie Parham sparked the Golden Eagles’ rally in the third quarter when he took a kick 3 yards deep in the end zone and sprinted the length of the field to cut Virginia’s lead to 34-24.

“Clearly that was a momentum changer,” Virginia coach Al Groh said. “I saw it coming. We didn’t fit on the blocks properly at a number of spots.”

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