Several connections between USM and FSU football programs

Southern Miss (8-4) and Florida State meet for the first time since 1996 when the two schools battle in the Independence Bowl on December 27 in Shreveport, Louisiana.

While it's been over two decades since the Golden Eagles and Seminoles have met on the gridiron, the two programs are connected in a number of ways.

USM defensive coordinator Tony Pecoraro served as a student coach at FSU in 2002-03 and a quality control coach from 2007-09. Eagles' defensive line coach Derek Nicholson lettered for the Noles from 2005-08.

First-year Southern Miss offensive line coach Erik Losey served as an offensive line assistant from 2009-10, coaching former center Bryan Stork who played for Florida State from 2009-2013, winning a national championship his senior season (2013).

Stork will wrap up his first season as USM's offensive graduate assistant coaching against his alma mater. Golden Eagles' secondary coach Dan Disch graduated from FSU in 1981.