The 2011 Conference USA champion Southern Miss football team has accepted a bowl invitation from the Sheraton Hawai`i Bowl to play Western Athletic Conference member Nevada (7-5).
The game will take place on Dec. 24 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, with a 7 p.m. Central Standard Time start. ESPN will broadcast the Christmas Eve contest.
"I am extremely excited for this football team and coaching staff to have the opportunity to make our first trip to the Sheraton Hawai`i Bowl," said Southern Miss football coach Larry Fedora. "This is a tremendous trip for this Conference USA championship team that reached new heights this season and we are thrilled about the opportunity to face a very talented Nevada squad."
The Golden Eagles, which won their school-record 11th game in a 49-28 triumph at Houston in the C-USA title match yesterday, will play in their 10th consecutive bowl game and the 14th in the last 15 years.
This will be the first appearance by the Golden Eagles in the Sheraton Hawai`i Bowl.
"We are pleased to reward our football coaches and our student-athletes with a trip to play in the Sheraton Hawai`i Bowl. I would like to congratulate Coach Fedora, our assistant coaches, and players who made this recording-setting year possible," said Southern Miss Athletics Director Richard Giannini. "We are very proud of what we have accomplished this season and we look forward to the Sheraton Hawai`i Bowl. It is our hope that we will be able to have a strong contingent of Golden Eagle fans to be able to make the trip and share in the celebration of this truly exceptional year. "
The Southern Miss Department of Athletics wants Golden Eagle fans to know that the priority deadline for tickets is Dec. 7. Ticket prices are $40. Fans can go online at SouthernMiss.com, call 1-800-844-TICK (8425) or visit the Pat Ferlise Center Monday through Friday from 8 a.m., until 5 p.m., to purchase tickets. Please check with ticket representatives regarding incentives for multiple ticket purchases.
"It is with great pleasure that I am able to invite the five-time and current Conference USA champions University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles to a well-deserved bowl appearance in the Sheraton Hawai`i Bowl," said Sheraton Hawai`i Bowl Executive Director David Matlin said. "The Sheraton Hawai`i Bowl has enjoyed great quarterback play over the past nine years and we are especially excited at the opportunity to showcase Southern Miss' Austin Davis to the nation via ESPN on Christmas Eve. Congratulations to Coach Fedora and the entire Southern Miss community on a championship season."
This will be the third meeting between Nevada and Southern Miss with the Golden Eagles winning the inaugural contest, 35-19 in Hattiesburg on Sept. 20, 1997 and then capturing a 55-28 decision in Reno on Nov. 21, 1998.