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NCAA Game Summary - Southern Mississippi at Tennessee

(Saturday, September 8th)

Final Score: (24) Tennessee 39, Southern Mississippi 19

Knoxville, TN (Sports Network) - Arian Foster rushed for 125 yards and scored two touchdowns as the 24th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers rebounded from a slow start to down the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles, 39-19.

Erik Ainge completed 23-of-36 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns for the Volunteers (1-1), who jumped into the win column following a loss to California in their opener last week.

Austin Rogers caught seven passes for 112 yards and a score for the Vols, who led by just one point at halftime.

Jeremy Young threw for 254 yards with a touchdown and interception on 19-of-36 passing for the Golden Eagles (1-1), who managed to score just three points in the second half.

The visitors opened the scoring after Justin Estes drilled a 30-yard field goal less then three minutes into the contest.

Ainge and the Vols responded and took a 7-3 lead after a 26-yard touchdown pass to Rogers with 9:29 left in the opening quarter. Tennessee went 70 yards on seven plays during the scoring drive.

Southern Miss regained its lead after Young threw a 69-yard touchdown pass to Chris Johnson to make it 10-7 with 9:11 to play in the first.

A 51-yard field goal by Britt Barefoot with 3:54 to play gave the Golden Eagles a six-point lead, but a 38-yarder by Daniel Lincoln made it 13-10 late in the first.

Southern Miss regained its six-point advantage with a 40-yard field goal by Estes with 5:18 to play in the half.

Tennessee then embarked on a 10-play, 73-yard drive that ended with Ainge completing a five-yard touchdown pass to Josh Briscoe to give the Vols a 17-16 lead heading into halftime.

The Vols got the ball to start the second half and went 53 yards on eight plays to take a 20-16 lead after Lincoln split the uprights with a 36-yard field goal.

After UT's Tory Harrison stripped Jerod Mayo of the football and Jarod Parrish recovered for the Vols at their own 45-yard line with 9:35 left in the third, Tennessee's offense cashed in off the turnover.

On the drive following the fumble recovery, Ainge completed a 35-yard pass to Lucas Taylor at the USM nine-yard line. One play later, Foster rushed into the end zone to give the Volunteers a 27-16 lead.

"The defense did a good job in the second half. They got that turnover, and special teams forced another one." Ainge said.

Early in the fourth quarter, Estes pulled the Golden Eagles to within eight points after a 24-yard field goal.

Tennessee then put things away after closing out the contest with Foster's second rushing TD of the game, a 47-yarder from Lincoln and a safety by the defense.

"I'm disappointed in the way we played," Southern Miss head coach Jeff Bower said. "We had chances to score and we settled for field goals and we needed to get touchdowns. We didn't and then we turned the ball over in the second half and gave them a short-field too much."

Game Notes

Tennessee has won all five meetings with Southern Miss in its history...The Vols racked up 207 yards rushing...Taylor ended with five catches for 118 yards...Tennessee finished with 469 yards of total offense while Southern Miss had 354.

09/09 02:32:23 ET

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