The Southern Miss offense was averaging 507.5 yards per game going into the game, but managed only 344 yards against Virginia, despite Damion Fletcher rushing for 115 and Harrison for 101. Fletcher scored on a 6-yard run in the first quarter and a 10-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Austin Davis was 14 of 26 for 130 yards and a 2-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Hanks in the third quarter. He was sacked twice.
Freddie Parham sparked the Golden Eagles rally in the third quarter when he took a kick 3 yards deep in the end zone and sprinted the length of the field to cut Virginia's lead to 34-24.
Southern Miss' unanswered scores by Fletcher and Harrison did the rest.
The Cavaliers, among the worst offensive teams in the nation this season, had 390 yards against the Golden Eagles.
Southern Miss (3-0), a 16½-point favorite, trailed until the fourth quarter, with fumbles and penalties allowing the Cavaliers to surge to a 13-0 lead after one quarter.
Virginia (0-3) scored on a 69-yard pass from Jameel Sewell to Tim Smith and had two field goals, thanks to Southern Miss fumbles.
A roughing the passer call on Southern Miss set up 4-yard TD run by Sewell to give the Cavaliers a 27-10 lead at halftime.
Sewell was 24 of 46 for 312 yards and two touchdowns, hitting Kris Burd for a 29-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Sewell ran for 23 yards and two scores — a 4-yarder in the second quarter and a 1-yard run in the third.
The victory is Southern Miss' eighth straight, the second longest in the nation behind Florida with 13.
Southern Miss is 4-2 in home games against BCS conference opponents since 2001. The last big conference school in town was North Carolina State, which fell 37-17 in 2006.