NEW ORLEANS -- Dwight Dasher got the best of Southern Mississippi -- and topped Vince Young, too.
Dasher ran for 201 yards -- the most by a quarterback in a bowl game -- and two touchdowns and threw two scoring passes to lead Middle Tennessee to a 42-32 victory against Southern Mississippi in the New Orleans Bowl on Sunday night.
Dasher completed 15 of 25 passes for 162 yards and ran 26 times. He finished the season with 1,175 yards rushing. He broke the quarterback bowl rushing record of 200 yards set by Texas' Young in the 2006 Rose Bowl against Southern California.
"Obviously, it was difficult stopping him," Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora said. "We knew going in that he was a heck of a player, and he showed that tonight. We sent him out a great player. He single handedly did it against us."
Middle Tennessee (10-3), playing in the second bowl game in school history, concluded its best season since joining the Football Bowl Subdivision in 1999 with a seven-game winning streak and its first bowl victory.
"I've never been part of a team that plays harder than we do," Middle Tennessee coach Rick Stockstill said. "Other teams can't match our intensity, enthusiasm and toughness and that was evident today. We fell behind 14-0 but we never quit."
Southern Miss (7-6) was playing in its eighth consecutive bowl game and 12th in the past 13 seasons. The Golden Eagles had won their three previous New Orleans Bowls, including an overtime victory against Troy last season.
Southern Miss quarterback Martevious Young completed 18 of 34 passes for 271 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw two interceptions.
Southern Miss running back Damion Fletcher ran for 78 yards. He finished the season with 1,015 to become the ninth player in major college football to reach 1,000 in all four seasons.
He did it despite a hamstring injury that caused him to sit out one game this season.
With 5,302 yards rushing overall, Fletcher passed Herschel Walker (5,259) and LaDainian Tomlinson (5,263) for eighth on the NCAA's career list.
Southern Miss started strong, scoring on their first possession as Tory Harrison rushed for a 2-yard touchdown. On their second possession, the Golden Eagles stretched the lead to 14-0 on a 24-yard reception by DeAndre Brown.
The Blue Raiders pulled even in the second quarter on an 11-yard reception by Garrett Anders, and -- after Alex Suber intercepted Young's pass on the Southern Miss 12 -- a 9-yard TD catch by Shane Blissard.
Southern Miss held a 17-14 edge at halftime thanks to Daniel Hrapmann's 20-yard field goal as time expired.
Dasher opened the third quarter with a 35-yard touchdown run. When Dasher left briefly with an ankle injury, Brent Burnette capped 76-yard scoring drive with a 23-yard TD pass to Chris McClover.
Hrapmann hit a 38-yard field goal to cut the Blue Raiders lead to eight at 28-20 at the end of three quarters.
Southern Miss had a chance to tie it early in the fourth making it 28-26 on DeAndre's 7-yard TD reception, but the 2-point conversion failed.
Benjamin Cunningham and Dasher ran for touchdowns to put it out of reach for Middle Tennessee.
USM added a final score with 27 seconds left the draw within 10.
|Dwight Dasher produces 363 yards of total offense and has a hand in four TDs for the Blue Raiders. (AP)|
|USM||Tory Harrison 2 yd run (failed 2pt rush)|
|USM||DeAndre Brown 24 yd pass from Martevious Young (DeAndre Brown 2pt pass from Martevious Young)|
|MITNST||Garrett Andrews 11 yd pass from Dwight Dasher (Alan Gendreau kick)|
|MITNST||Shane Blissard 9 yd pass from Dwight Dasher (Alan Gendreau kick)|
|USM||Danny Hrapmann 20 yd FG|
|MITNST||Dwight Dasher 35 yd run (Alan Gendreau kick)|
|USM||Danny Hrapmann 38 yd FG|
|MITNST||Chris McClover 23 yd pass from Brent Burnette (Alan Gendreau kick)|
|USM||DeAndre Brown 7 yd pass from Martevious Young (failed 2pt pass)|
|MITNST||Benjamin Cunningham 2 yd run (Alan Gendreau kick)|
|MITNST||Dwight Dasher 1 yd run (Alan Gendreau kick)|
|USM||Freddie Parham 33 yd pass from Martevious Young (failed 2pt pass)|
|Third Down Efficiency||10-18||9-15|
|Fourth Down Efficiency||1-1||1-1|
|Kick Return Yds||99||78|
|Punt Return Yds||27||-2|
|Time of Poss.||31:41||28:19|
|USM: Damion Fletcher 17-78, Martevious Young 9-24, Tory Harrison 10-21, Tracy Lampley 1-0|
|MITNST: Dwight Dasher 26-201, D.D. Kyles 12-35, Benjamin Cunningham 5-11, Team 1--4|
|USM: Martevious Young 18-34-271-2|
|MITNST: Dwight Dasher 15-25-162-0, Brent Burnette 2-3-45-0|
|USM: Gerald Baptiste 4-117, DeAndre Brown 4-65, Damion Fletcher 4--2, Freddie Parham 3-62, Leroy Banks 2-13, Tracy Lampley 1-16|
|MITNST: Chris McClover 4-55, Garrett Andrews 4-51, Shane Blissard 3-10, Desmond Gee 2-45, Sancho McDonald 2-15, Wes Caldwell 1-22, Patrick Honeycutt 1-9|
|Southern Mississippi||6th Conference USA East||0-8||0-12|