HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Dustin Almond completed 10-of-14 and threw two touchdowns in a 17-point third quarter Saturday to help Southern Mississippi become bowl eligible with a 26-21 win over UAB.
A loss would have forced the Golden Eagles to have to beat No. 4 California next weekend to qualify for a third straight bowl. After the first half, it appeared UAB would hand Southern Miss its fourth straight loss.
The Golden Eagles trailed 14-3 in the third quarter before Almond connected with Tavarres Williams on a 14-yard touchdown pass at the 11:28 mark to cap a seven-play, 70-yard drive.
After a 24-yard field goal from Southern Mississippi's Darren McCaleb made it 14-13, Almond found Antwon Courington on a 14-yard TD toss with 51 seconds remaining in the third to give the Golden Eagles their first lead. Almond threw for 129 yards.
TULANE 35, TCU 31: Freshman Richard Irvin, making his first start, threw his fifth touchdown of the game with 43 seconds left to lift visiting Tulane. Irvin's 12-yard pass to Chris Bush in the closing seconds capped a 99-yard drive. Irvin, filling in for the injured Lester Ricard, finished 22-of-37 for 282 yards with TD passes of 3, 3, 11, 25 and 12 yards.
The 10-play winning drive gave Tulane its first lead and came after TCU was on the verge of putting the game away. Leading 31-28 with 3:57 left, TCU failed to convert fourth and goal from the Tulane 2 when Robert Merrill was stopped on the 1.
The Horned Frogs lost bowl eligibility, ending their streak of six straight bowl appearances.