Southern Miss scored first on a 2 yard touchdown pass from Lee Roberts to Sharrod Gideon, helping USM take a 7-0 lead. Idaho's Jerome Thomas took the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown tying the game at 7. USM's Derrick Nix scored touchdown runs of 8 and 1 yards as Southern Miss took a 21-7 lead. Idaho answered with three touchdown passes from quarterback John Welsh in the second quarter, as Idaho surged to a 28-21 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, running back Joel Thomas's 1 yard touchdown run gave Idaho a 35-21 lead. In the fourth quarter, Southern Miss got an 8 yard touchdown pass from Gideon to Roberts cutting the lead to 35-28. Derrick Nix's 15 yard touchdown run tied the game at 35. The Vandals scored the winning points on a 28 yard touchdown pass from Welsh to Ryan Prestimonico to win 42-35. With under two minutes left and a first down on Southern Miss's 19-yard line, Idaho Head Coach Chris Tormey directed his offense to run out the clock, rather than try to run up the score in a show of sportsmanship. Idaho had been 21-point underdogs in Las Vegas betting.