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Preview and Early Picks: Southern Miss to face familiar foe in LendingTree Bowl

HATTIESBURG, MS – Southern Miss has accepted their bowl bid to play a familiar foe, Rice, in the LendingTree Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, on December 17, 2022, at 4:45 PM. The game will air on ESPN.

The Golden Eagles finished the regular season 6-6, earning a bowl bid after coming off a 20-10 victory over ULM. Rice finished the season at 5-7 but earned a rare bowl bid without reaching six wins. They were the only 5-7 team to claim a bowl berth in 2022. Rice snapped the C-USA’s longest bowl drought and clinched their spot in the postseason for the first time since 2014.

Southern Miss fans might remember the LendingTree Bowl, as it is familiar ground for the program. The Golden Eagles played in Mobile in 2000 against TCU and in 2007 against Ohio; they won both matchups.

This will be the first bowl berth for both head coaches, Southern Miss’s Will Hall and Rice’s Mike Bloomgren. Rice won its last bowl game in the 2014 Hawaii Bowl, and the last Southern Miss victory in a bowl game was in 2016 in the New Orleans Bowl.

Early Preview on Rice

For the Owls, the 2022 season started with a trip out west to California, where they were drubbed by Heisman candidate Caleb Williams and USC 66-14.

They beat FCS foe McNeese State 52-10 the following week, faced Southern Miss opponent Louisiana, and beat them 33-21. They lost to Houston and beat UAB 38-24 on their home turf.

They lost to FAU, beat Louisiana Tech in overtime, and got blown out by Charlotte. They beat UTEP in a shootout on a Thursday night before ending the season with three straight losses to the hands of WKU, UTSA, and North Texas. The Roadrunners and Mean Green played for the C-USA Championship.

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