Southern Miss beats Nevada 24-17 in Hawaii Bowl

December 25, 2011 - 1:22 AM
Southern Mississippi Nevada Football

Southern Mississippi head coach Larry Fedora holds up the 2011 Hawaii Bowl trophy after an NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 24, 2011, in Honolulu. Southern Mississippi defeated Nevada 24-17 to win the 2011 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)

HONOLULU (AP) — Austin Davis threw two touchdowns, including a 4-yarder late in the game, and No. 22 Southern Mississippi earned a school-record 12th victory by holding off Nevada 24-17 in the Hawaii Bowl on Saturday night.

Davis overcame a shaky start for the Conference USA champion Golden Eagles (12-2), and the defense in the second half managed to shut down Nevada's potent pistol attack led by Lampford Mark.

Davis was off most of the night, but made it count on the game-winning drive. On third-and-goal, he scrambled right and found Kelvin Bolden for the 4-yard score, capping a seven-play, 68-yard drive. He had just 59 yard passing at halftime and finished 18 of 41 for 165 yards.

With Davis held in check, the Golden Eagles relied on their defense, stopping Mark on fourth-and-1 at midfield with 3:56 left.

It was the final game for Southern Miss under coach Larry Fedora, who is leaving after four seasons to take over at North Carolina.

Mark had 183 yards rushing for the Wolf Pack (7-6) but was held to just 21 yards in the second half.