Where: Mobile, Ala.
When: Wed., Dec. 20, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Teams’ Bowl Performances Last Year:
TCU beat East Carolina 28-14 in the inaugural Mobile Alabama Bowl Southern Miss beat Colorado State 23-17 in the Liberty Bowl
What to Watch For
The player to watch in this matchup is TCU’s senior tailback LaDainian Tomlinson. Last year, Tomlinson led the nation in rushing and set an NCAA single-game record with 406 rushing yards against Texas-El Paso. This season, he became only the second player ever to rush for at least 2,000 yards when he logged 2,158 yards on the ground to again lead the nation.
Tomlinson and TCU quarterback Casey Printers, who has 1,584 passing yards on the year, will be the keys to the Horned Frogs’ hopes for a third straight bowl win.
TCU lost just one game this season, coming up short 27-24 against San Jose State in November, and will be a tough opponent for struggling Southern Mississippi. The Golden Eagles started the season 6-1 and nearly beat Tennessee for a perfect record through seven games. But they unraveled down the stretch, losing three of their last four contests, and almost ended the season with a four-game losing streak before prevailing in double overtime against UAB.
Southern Miss will need to rely on its defense, which has played well late in the season, if it hopes to stop Tomlinson and TCU. Southern Miss allowed an average 2.8 yards per rushing play, while TCU gained an average 5.2 yards each time it ran the ball.
TCU defensive coordinator Gary Patterson will serve as head coach for the game, replacing the resigned Dennis Franchione.