So. Miss Comeback Dooms Troy
by Mike Mitchell
December 21, 2008
With a 27-17 lead and the offense moving down the field, senior wide receiver Mykeal Terry caught a pass for what should have been a first down to keep the drive alone. Instead, he backpeddled to look for more yards and came up short of the marker. Troy failed on a 4th-down attempt on the following play and, five plays later, Southern Miss scored on a 35-yard touchdown pass to begin its rally in a 30-27 New Orleans Bowl win over the Trojans.
Terry's decision can't be blamed entirely for the loss, but it gave the Golden Eagles new life. Southern Miss stopped Tory on three downs on its next possession, then drove for the tying field goal from 46 yards out with 2:50 left.
In overtime, Britt Barefoot banked in a 39-yard field goal of the left upright and Southern Miss blocked Troy's attempted kick moments later to seal its third New Orleans Bowl win in three tries. the Golden Eagles also won in 2004 and 2005.
The victory was the fifth straight for Southern Miss after starting the season 2-6. It gave Larry Fedora a bowl win in his first season as head coach and a season record that equaled Jeff Bower's record last season.
Bower guided the Golden Eagles to 10 bowl games in 14 years. His last game was a 31-21 loss to Cincinnati at the 2007 Papajohns.com Bowl.
Troy ended its' season at 8-5.
Southern Miss' leading receiver, DeAndre Brown, suffered a broken left leg in the first quarter. Moments earlier, he set a new school record with his 69th reception of the season.