HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Austin Davis rushed for four touchdowns and threw for two more as Southern Mississippi ran past Houston 59-41 on Saturday night.
Davis completed 23 of 30 passes for 285 yards without an interception, and rushed for 111 yards on 17 carries to give the Golden Eagles (8-3) an emotional win just six days after three players were shot outside a Hattiesburg nightclub.
One of those players, linebacker Martez Smith, made an appearance before the game to be honored on Senior Day.
Houston quarterback David Piland set the single-game passing record for M.M. Roberts Stadium with 467 yards and four touchdowns, but it didn't make up for an anemic rushing game that accounted for just 30 yards on 19 attempts.
Kendrick Hardy rushed for 205 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries for Southern Miss, Patrick Edwards caught seven passes for 125 yards and a pair of touchdowns and James Cleveland added nine catches for 115 yards and a score.
The two offenses combined for 100 points, 1,133 yards of total offense and were 13-of-13 collectively in red-zone scoring.
The Cougars also had 220 kick return yards and returned a partially blocked field goal attempt 90 yards for a touchdown just before halftime, but did not score on offense in the second or third quarter while Southern Miss built a 38-20 lead.
Houston (5-6) fell to 4-4 in Conference USA play and out of contention for the league's Western Division title.
Southern Miss improved to 5-2 in the conference and needs a win next week over Tulsa and a Central Florida loss to Memphis for a chance at a Conference USA championship berth.