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Dasher dashes by USM, 42-32

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 over Southern Miss 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 straight bowl game and 12th in the last 13 seasons. The Golden Eagles had won their three previous New Orleans Bowls, including an overtime win against Troy last season.