Peterson caught a 38-yard touchdown pass from Driphus Jackson in the second quarter and capped the scoring with an 8-yard TD run with 3:37 left in the game for the Owls (3-6, 1-4 Conference USA).
Jackson completed 4 of 6 passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns in relief of starter Taylor McHargue, who took a hit on his injured shoulder in the second quarter and did not return.
Southern Miss (0-8, 0-4) turned the ball over five times and remained winless this season despite gaining more yards—372 to 370—than the Owls. Tracy Lampley had four receptions for 101 yards for the Golden Eagles.
One of Southern Miss’ turnovers was a 75-yard interception return by Rice’s Paul Porras that gave the Owls a 31-10 lead in the third quarter.