Golden Eagles hold off UCF

Published 12:02 am Sunday, November 13, 2011

HATTIESBURG — Danny Hrapmann kicked five field goals and No. 25 Southern Miss narrowly avoided an upset with a 30-29 win over Central Florida on Saturday night.

Central Florida’s J.J. Whorton caught a 25-yard touchdown pass as time expired, but Southern Miss safety Jacorious Cotton got a hand on Blake Bortles’ 2-point conversion pass to seal the win.

Hrapmann made all five field-goal attempts, including kicks of 42, 44 and 48 yards, and made both of his extra point attempts to propel Southern Miss to its first 9-1 start since the 1996 season. The five field goals gave him 48 in his career to tie Tulane’s Brad Palazzo for 11th-place on C-USA’s all-time list.

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Austin Davis completed 26-of-48 passes for 364 yards and two touchdowns. It was his third 300-yard game of the season and eighth of his career. Kevlin Bolden caught one of those TDs, a 60-yarder, that was the longest of his career. USM wide receiver Ryan Balentine caught six passes for 122 yards, his third 100-yard game of the season.

Bortles came on in relief of UCF starter Jeff Godfrey and completed 24 of 34 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception. Chris Briggs caught four passes for a career-high 67 yards and a touchdown.

Central Florida (4-6) has lost four of its last five games and six out of eight.