The Southern Miss football schedule is officially set for the 2018 campaign.
The Golden Eagles will begin the season with two non-conference home games — Jackson State on Sept. 1 and Louisiana-Monroe on Sept. 8.
The two road non-conference games will be much more difficult with a trip to Appalachian State on Sept. 15 and Auburn on Sept. 29. Appalachian State is coming off a 9-4 season while Auburn finished 10-4 and won the SEC West.
USM is in search of its first win over Auburn since Jeff Bower’s first full season as head coach in 1991. The Golden Eagles won 10-9 in 1991 before a crowd of 79,790.
Game times have not yet been set for the 12-game schedule.
The season opener against JSU, which will likely draw the biggest home crowd of the season, will mark the first time the two programs have met 2002. The Golden Eagles have won both of the prior meetings.
USM will keep the same Conference USA opponents that it played in 2017 with Rice traveling to Hattiesburg on Sept. 22 to begin the conference slate.
The rest of the C-USA schedule includes a trip to North Texas on Oct. 13, a home game against UTSA on Oct. 20, a road game at Charlotte on Oct. 27, a home game against Marshall on Nov. 3, a trip to UAB on Nov. 10, a home game against Louisiana Tech on Nov. 17 and the regular season finale at UTEP on Nov. 24.
Southern Miss finished 8-5 in Jay Hopson’s second season as head coach in 2017, falling 42-13 to Florida State in the Independence Bowl.
USM football schedule
Sept. 1 — Jackson State
Sept. 8 — Louisiana-Monroe
Sept. 15 — at Appalachian State
Sept. 22 — Rice
Sept. 29 — at Auburn
Oct. 13 — at North Texas
Oct. 20 — UTSA
Oct. 27 — at Charlotte
Nov. 3 — Marshall
Nov. 10 — at UAB
Nov. 17 — Louisiana Tech
Nov. 24 — at UTEP