The Southern Miss football team survived a wild road game, 56-50, at Texas State Saturday night to move to 2-1 and above .500 for the first time since the team went 12-2 in 2011.
There were moments where USM fans saw tremendous progress from their team and others where it reverted back to past struggles.
Even if the game was sloppy at times, it was a huge win for third-year head coach Todd Monken. USM traveled to San Marcos, Texas, as a 3-point underdog and came away the winner.
Senior running back Jalen Richard had a career night for USM with 28 carries for 230 yards and four touchdowns, including scoring runs of 53 and 64 yards.
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It marked the first time a USM player has rushed for four touchdowns in a game since former quarterback Austin Davis did it in 2010.
Junior quarterback Nick Mullens carved up the Texas State secondary, completing 19-of-26 passes for 333 yards and four touchdowns.
The quarterback-running back duo of Mullens and Richard combined for 563 yards and all eight of USM's touchdowns.
Senior Casey Martin was Mullens' top target, pulling in five catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns.
Southern Miss had 614 yards of total offense compared to 596 from Texas State.
The USM defense struggled to slow down the Texas State offense led by junior quarterback Tyler Jones.
Southern Miss led 21-3 early in the second quarter, but Texas State responded with 22 unanswered points to lead 25-21 at halftime.
USM recovered well in the third quarter, putting up 28 points in the first 17 minutes of the second half.
Southern Miss went up 56-42 with 6:23 remaining when Richard went up the middle 64 yards for a USM touchdown.
The game wasn't settled until USM cornerback Kalan Reed came up with a big hit at the goal line to stop Texas State at the USM 1 with 1:57 remaining and USM leading 56-42.
On the ensuing possession, USM decided to take a safety from its own one with 51 seconds remaining. Texas State (1-2) reached the end zone again with 4 seconds left in the game, but the Bobcats failed to recover the following onside kick.
Jones completed 31-of-46 passes for 317 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran 18 times for 158 yards and two scores, regularly finding space in the middle of the field to pick up big yardage.
Southern Miss hopes it can build on Saturday's impressive offensive performance when it travels to take on Nebraska at 11 a.m. on Saturday in Lincoln.