HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — Ito Smith ran for 120 yards and two touchdowns as Southern Miss captured its second straight Homecoming and recorded its first Conference-USA shutout since 2001, blanking Texas-El Paso 24-0 Saturday.
But it was the Eagles’ defense that shone brightest. Southern Miss (4-2, 2-1) held the Miners to just 147 total yards, including just 17 net yards on the ground.
Keon Howard completed 16 of his 27 pass attempts for 221 yards and a touchdown, but he was picked off twice by UTEP (0-7, 0-3). Howard found Jaylond Adams with a 52-yard scoring pass midway through the first quarter to get the Eagles on the board and Smith found the end zone just before halftime to make it 14-0.
Smith scored from 20-yards out in the fourth quarter to make it 21-0 and Parker Shaunfield kicked a 38-yard field goal late to account for the game’s scoring.