"Football is a journey," as Southern Miss head coach Jay Hopson likes to say.
The Golden Eagles' long journey this season has led them to an 8-4 regular season finish and Independence Bowl matchup with Florida State (6-6) in Shreveport, Louisiana on December 27.
USM, along with 23 seniors, has a tremendous opportunity to finish the year on a high note.
"It's been a long ride going through training camp and the season," said USM senior defensive back Curtis Mikell. "It's always just work but you have to keep your body right and just keep fighting. I think we had a great season, had some great games, close games. Just been a fun season, how you would want to end for your senior year. To come out and play a big bowl game to end the year like this, and for the school and for us, to show our talent one more time is great."