Kansas dropped to 1-2 overall while USM improved to 2-1.
KU scored both of its touchdowns in the second half. In the third quarter, Kansas marched 59 yards on 11 plays. Redshirt freshman Deshaun Sands punctuated the drive with an eight-yard TD run, the first of his career.
Kansas' second TD was set up by a 54-yard kick return by sophomore D.J. Beshears. On the next play, redshirt freshman QB Jordan Webb found senior WR Johnathan Wilson for a 41-yard touchdown strike. It was Wilson's first touchdown since the 2008 Insight Bowl.
Kansas trailed at the half 21-3.
The Golden Eagles were driving again when safety Phillip Strozier came out of nowhere to pick off a pass from Austin Davis. KU was able to capitalize on the turnover when kicker Jacob Branstetter split the uprights on a 37-yard field goal.
USM found the endzone two more times in the half, once on a 49-yard run by running back Desmond Johnson and the other on a punt blocked and returned for a TD.
True freshman running back James Sims had his second straight solid game. In his first collegiate start, he carried 20 times for 74 yards. Sands finished with eight rushes for 34 yards and a TD. Webb was 16-of-26 for 138 yards and a touchdown. Junior Daymond Patterson led the receivers with five catches, while Wilson had 67 receiving yards and a score.
Defensively, KU was led by senior LB Drew Dudley with eight tackles including one for loss.
Southern Miss quarterback Austin Davis finished 19-of-24 for 155 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. Running back Desmond Johnson had 89 yards on eight carries and a touchdown. Davis also had 61 rushing yards on nine carries and a score.
Kansas hosts New Mexico State Saturday, Sept. 25 at 6 p.m. in Memorial Stadium. The game will be broadcast on Fox College Sports Central in addition to the Jayhawk Radio Network.