Football Loses In Black And Blue Game
Sept. 14, 2002
By RALPH D. RUSSO
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Derrick Nix ran for 196 yards, including 175 in the first half, and two touchdowns on 21 carries as Southern Mississippi defeated Memphis 33-14 on Saturday night.
Nix barely missed his second straight 200-yard game after sitting out most of the fourth quarter with the Golden Eagles (3-0, 1-0 Conference USA) well ahead. The 225-pound senior also continued his dominance against Memphis (1-2, 0-1). He has 523 yards and five touchdowns in four games - all victories - against the Tigers.
Danny Wimprine was 9-of-15 for 153 yards for Memphis, but left in the third quarter after being sandwiched by two Southern Miss defenders while scrambling. There was no immediate word on Wimprine's condition, though he walked off the field and to the locker room under his own power.
The Golden Eagles have won eight of the last nine in the "Black and Blue Game" - Southern Miss wears black and Memphis blue. The only loss came last year when Nix did not play.
Two years ago, Nix sprained an ankle against Memphis and finished with just 4 yards on five carries.
That injury was the beginning of a prolonged ordeal for Nix. The anti-inflammatory drugs Nix took to treat his ankle caused a kidney condition that forced him to miss the rest of the 2000 season and all of 2001.
Nix's return has been spectacular so far with seven touchdowns and 474 yards.
His 70-yard touchdown run started a 16-point spurt by the Golden Eagles in the final five minutes that Memphis never recovered from.
Memphis pulled to 10-7 on a 72-yard touchdown from Wimprine to Antoine Harden, who caught a short slant over the middle and went the distance, with just over five minutes left in second quarter.
The Golden Eagles quickly responded.
Three plays after Harden's touchdown, Nix took a handoff to the right, bounced outside and ran 70 yards virtually untouched down the sideline for a 17-7 lead.
Memphis' next possession was a disaster. The Tigers started from their own 20, but a penalty and a sack backed them up to the 3. On third-and-27, the shotgun snap sailed over Wimprine's head and out of the end zone for a safety.
With 8 seconds left in the half, Joey D'Angelo connected with Marvin Young, who made a nifty fingertip catch in the front corner of the end zone, on a 24-yard score. The play capped a five-play, 72-yard drive that started with 54 seconds remaining and upped the lead to 26-7.
Anthony Harris added 121 yards rushing for Southern Miss, and scored on a 4-yard run that made it 33-7 with 9:34 left in the third.