Tulsa 20, Southern Miss 6

Tuesday, October 3rd 2006, 4:39 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Courtney Tennial ran for 120 yards and a touchdown in his first career start and Paul Smith threw for 201 yards and ran for a touchdown to lead Tulsa to a 20-6 victory over Southern Mississippi on Tuesday night.

Tennial, who transferred from Oklahoma after Adrian Peterson's arrival in 2004, fumbled in the first quarter to end a Tulsa drive in the red zone, but finished with 21 carries, two more than he had over the first four games combined.

Smith scored from 7 yards out late in third quarter to give Tulsa (4-1, 1-0 Conference USA) a 20-6 lead. The Golden Hurricane, the defending conference champions, then held Southern Miss (3-2, 1-1) to one first down _ on a defensive holding call _ on its next two drives.

Tennial went in untouched from 2 yards out to put Tulsa up 20-6.

Smith finished 16-of-25 without an interception.

Damion Fletcher ran for 95 yards on 18 carries in the first half, but Southern Miss went away from the talented freshman tailback after halftime.

Fletcher, whose 122.8-yard rushing average ranked eighth in the nation, ended up with 112 yards on 25 carries. He's had at least 100 yards in four straight games since replacing Larry Thomas in the starting lineup.

Stephen Reaves took over for starting quarterback Jeremy Young on the final drive of the first half, but threw 10 straight incompletions at one point as the Golden Eagles' offense stalled in the second half.

Reaves, a transfer from Michigan State, was 11-of-27 for 98 yards, while Young was 3-of-12 for 25 yards with one interception.

Tulsa scored on its first possession when receiver Cauvey Jackson, a converted running back, took a pitch from Smith on the option and raced 59 yards down the right sideline, the longest run of his career.