HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Southern Miss football was supposed to practice on Friday afternoon but Jack Frost had other plans.
The blanket of snow that covered the Rock postponed USM's practice until Monday afternoon. The Golden Eagles (8-4) face Florida State (6-6) in the Independence Bowl on December 27.
"They finished strong," said USM head coach Jay Hopson. "They had an injury or two early in the season. They're a really good football team, we know that. So, we know we have a big challenge."
"They're historically a good team," said USM senior running back Ito Smith. "Kind of down-year this year, had a bad quarterback situation. They're going to come there ready, man. They're still a great ball team. Good on defense, they move around, they fly around. We got to come out there ready."
This will be the first meeting between USM and FSU since 1996, a series that the Seminoles lead 13-8-1.
A Reggie Collier-led Golden Eagles team took down the 20th-ranked Noles 58-14 in 1981.
USM's last win came in 1989 in Jacksonville, Florida. Brett Favre tossed a touchdown pass to Anthony Harris with less than 30 seconds to play in the Eagles' upset of sixth-ranked FSU.
Southern Miss hopes the Independence Bowl is another memorable outing in a storied matchup.
"I look up a lot of history of Southern Miss," said USM senior defensive back Curtis Mikell. "They knocked off some pretty big power five schools. We're trying to do the same. The seniors want to come out and leave a legacy like that under their name and win a big bowl game like that for the school."
"It's our biggest game 'cause it's our next game," said USM senior defensive back Tarvarius Moore. "For the seniors, this is our last collegiate game that we're going to play. So, we got to go out with a bang and just treat every game like it's our last like we've been doing all season. Giving every opponent our utmost respect, no matter what."