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Southern Mississippi wins Hawaii Bowl

Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora now heads for UNC. (Associated Press)
Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora now heads for UNC. (Associated Press)

HONOLULU – Austin Davis threw two touchdown passes, 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 Conference USA champion Southern Miss (12-2), and the Golden Eagles’ defense shut down Nevada’s potent pistol attack, led by Lampford Mark, in the second half.

Davis was off most of the night, but made it count on the 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.

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