HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — Tate Whatley had a touchdown pass and ran for a score, Darian Yancey scored on a fumble return and Southern Mississippi held off Marshall 26-24 on Saturday.
Whatley’s rushing touchdown, a 1-yard keeper with 7:13 to play, capped a 13-play, 94-yard drive that chewed up 6 minutes, 23 seconds, proved to be the difference. A missed extra point made it 26-17.
Marshall scored on a 15-yard pass from Isaiah Green to Artie Henry with 1:11 left but the Golden Eagles (4-4, 3-2 Conference USA) recovered the onside kick.
After both teams managed first-quarter field goals, Brenden Knox picked up a Zac Everett fumble and returned it 8 yards for a touchdown to give Marshall a 10-3 lead with 5:04 left in the second quarter. Whatley connected with Quez Watkins for a 4-yard score to tie the game with 48 seconds left before halftime. The Golden Eagles added another touchdown 15 seconds later when Jacques Turner forced a fumble when he sacked Isaiah Green allowing Yancey to pick it up and race 17 yards to the end zone to put Southern Miss up 17-10 at the break.
The Thundering Herd (5-3, 3-2) evened the score midway through the third quarter on an Anthony Anderson 2-yard TD run. Parker Shaunfield’s 23-yard field goal put Southern Miss up 20-17 heading into the final quarter.
The Golden Eagles had just 222 yards of offense, while Marshall managed 249. Marcel Williams had seven catches for 139 yards for the Thundering Herd.