HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) -- Damion Fletcher rushed for 222 yards and two touchdowns as Southern Mississippi defeated Louisiana-Lafayette 51-21 on Saturday night.
The game marked Larry Fedora's debut as head coach. Fedora, formerly the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma St., replaced longtime Golden Eagles head coach Jeff Bower. The win came before a crowd of 32,792.
Fletcher picked up 184 yards on 16 carries and had two scores in the first half, as USM (1-0) took a quick 21-0 lead and went on to a 34-14 halftime advantage.
With USM comfortably ahead, he only ran the ball five times in the second half but was able to break his previous career high of 211 yards against Texas El-Paso last year.
Golden Eagles quarterback Austin Davis, in his first start for USM, ran for two touchdowns in the first half and threw for another as well. He later added another late scoring pass.