Hattiesburg, MS (Sports Network) - Darrin Reaves scored a pair of rushing touchdowns as he helped guide the UAB Blazers to a 27-19 win over the Southern Miss Golden Eagles in Conference USA action at Roberts Stadium.
Reaves, who entered the week averaging a mere 65 ypg on the ground, ran for a career-high 223 yards on 35 attempts for the Blazers (2-7, 1-4 CUSA) and has also scored nine rushing TDs in the last three games as the squad snapped a three-game slide. Austin Brown converted 17-of-29 passes for 228 yards and a score, was intercepted once and sacked five times in the triumph.
The Golden Eagles (0-9, 0-5), still the only winless team in the Football Bowl Subdivision, were led by Jalen Richard who ran for 82 yards and a score. Anthony Alford connected on 10-of-26 passes for 112 yards, was sacked once and had a pass picked off in the loss.
Following a scoreless first quarter, USM ripped off 16 points in the second period as Jeremy Hester was credited with a safety, followed by a 10-yard TD run by Alford and a 29-yard TD run by Richard to give the hosts a 16-0 edge at the break.
With their first possession of the second half, the Blazers moved the ball 78 yards on eight plays, capped by a 14-yard touchdown run by Reaves.
However, less than three minutes later the Golden Eagles responded with a 41- yard field goal by Corey Acosta to move the advantage to 19-7 with more than 23 minutes still to play.
UAB got on track with just under five minutes left in the third as Brown hooked up with Sam Accursio on an 18-yard touchdown pass play to cut the deficit to 19-14.
Just as USM dominated the second quarter, the Blazers were in charge in the fourth as Ty Long knocked through field goals of 43 and 40 yards to give the visitors a 20-19 edge with 8:51 to play. Reaves added an eight-yard TD run with less than three minutes remaining in order to put the game out of reach.
In addition to giving up 435 yards of total offense to the Blazers, Southern Miss converted just 3-of-13 on third down and failed on both of its fourth- down attempts as well.