USM football outlasts Louisiana-Lafayette in overtime, 34-31
Gore scores 3 times, including game winner, as Golden Eagles string together consecutive victories
LAFAYETTE, La. (WDAM) - Junior running back Frank Gore Jr. scored three times, including the game-winning run in overtime, as the University of Southern Mississippi outlasted the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, 34-31, Thursday night at Cajun Field.
USM (3-7, 2-5 Sun Belt Conference) now has back-to-back wins for the first time this season, while the Ragin’ Cajuns (5-5, 2-4) dropped its second consecutive game.
Gore rushed for 158 yards on 33 carries. He ran for two touchdowns, including the game-winning 3-yard run.
He also had a 17-yard touchdown run in the first half and started the Golden Eagles’ scoring by taking a short Billy Wiles pass into an 18-yard touchdown.
Gore’s big night was marred by a lost fumble in the fourth quarter with the score tied 21-21.
The Ragin’ Cajuns turned the glitch into a 7-yard touchdown pass from Chandler Field to Trayv’on Culbert, giving UL-L a 28-21 lead.
But quarterback Ethan Crawford, who relieved Wiles in the first half, rushed the Golden Eagles downfield to tie the game with a 9-yard scoring pass to Jakarius Caston with 1 minute, 26 seconds to play.
USM forced a UL-L punt and then ran off the final seconds of regulation to force the game into overtime.
The Golden Eagles defense, which logged a pair of goal-line stands during regulation, staged another in overtime, forcing the Cajuns to kick a field goal to take a 31-28 lead.
USM, which got the ball second in the extra period, were helped by a pass interference penalty on the third-and-7 from the 22-yard line.
That set the Golden Eagles up at the UL-L 7-yard line, and two Gore runs later, USM was heading home with its 11th consecutive victory over the Cajuns.
USM will hit the road for the final time Nov. 18, when the Golden Eagles head to Mississippi State University for an 11 a.m. kickoff in Starkville.
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