Southern Miss

Southern Miss, Mississippi State accept bowl invitations Sunday

Southern Miss coach Jay Hopson guided the Golden Eagles to a Bowl game in his first year.
Southern Miss coach Jay Hopson guided the Golden Eagles to a Bowl game in his first year. ttisbell@sunherald.com

Southern Miss and Mississippi State each landed bowl bids on Sunday.

The Golden Eagles (6-6) will meet Louisiana-Lafayette in the New Orleans Bowlat 8 p.m on Dec. 17 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Despite a sub .500 record, Mississippi State will face Miami-Ohio in the St. Petersburg Bowl at 10 a.m. on Dec. 26.

Southern Miss will be playing in its fifth New Orleans Bowl, holding a 3-1 record.

USM holds a commanding 38-11-1 series lead over ULL. The Golden Eagles won their last meeting, 51-21 in 2008.

“I am extremely proud of the 2016 Golden Eagle football team and very excited to get the invitation to play in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl,” Southern Miss coach Jay Hopson said in a statement. “It is a great destination bowl and the Golden Eagle football family is excited to continue our season in the City of New Orleans.”

The Bulldogs (5-7) are one of two teams without six bowl-eligible wins to earn a berth based on their solid Academic Progress Rate rankings, along with North Texas. MSU earned a bowl bid for the seventh straight year, all under coach Dan Mullen.

MSU makes its 20th all-time bowl appearance and one of only five SEC schools to go bowling every season this decade.

“We are thrilled to finish the season in St. Petersburg,” Mullen said in a statement. “This is a great opportunity for one of the winningest senior classes in school history and for our program to build momentum for 2017. It also speaks volumes of our student-athletes for their commitment in the classroom to qualify for a bowl based on our successful APR.”

The St. Petersburg Bowl will be the final game at MSU for linebacker Richie Brown, a former Long Beach standout.

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