Southern Miss, East Carolina Bowl Destinations Set
Southern Miss (8-4) will be making its first appearance in the Beef "O' Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl. The Golden Eagles will face an opponent from the Big East, still to be determined.
This will be the ninth consecutive bowl appearance and 13th in the past 14 years by the Golden Eagles, who have played in the New Orleans Bowl in four of the past six seasons.
Southern Miss started the season 4-1, including an upset of Kansas, but lost three of its final seven games. The three losses were by a total of eight points -- one-point losses each to East Carolina and UAB and a six-point loss to Tulsa.
The Golden Eagles rank 15th nationally in total offense (458 yards per game) and scoring offense (37.5 points).
East Carolina, the two-time defending C-USA champion, will be making its fifth consecutive bowl trip. East Carolina will play a team to be determined from the Atlantic Coast Conference in the Military Bowl in Washington, D.C.
The Pirates (6-6) started 5-2 under first-year coach Ruffin McNeill, including an upset of N.C. State.
However, the Pirates slumped in the second half of the season, going 1-4.
The Pirates feature the nation's seventh-best passing offense (319 yards per game) and rank 13th in scoring offense (38 points). East Carolina also ranks last in total defense (allowing 43 points a contest) and third-worst in total defense (478 yards per game).
The official announcements are expected to be made Tuesday by the Beef "O" Brady's St. Petersburg and Military bowls.
Brett McMurphy is a national football writer for FanHouse. Contact him at email@example.com or please follow at Twitter.com/BrettmcmurphY