HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Mississippi defense turned in its best performance in three years, helping the Golden Eagles to a 27-3 win over Southern Methodist in Conference USA play.
Southern Miss (6-1, 2-1) held the high-powered SMU offense to 330 yards and 14 first downs and forced two late turnovers to put the game away.
Trailing 13-3 at halftime, SMU (5-2, 3-1) drove into Southern Miss territory twice in the second half. The Mustangs were forced to punt the first time, then Golden Eagles cornerback Marquese Wheaton intercepted a J.J. McDermott pass in the end zone for a touchback.
He intercepted McDermott again on the next SMU drive and returned it 41 yards for a touchdown with 6:54 left.
Southern Miss quarterback Austin Davis was 27 of 37 for 266 yards and a touchdown.
SMU running back Zach Line rushed for 163 yards, but couldn't score on eight carries inside the 10-yard-line.