Southern Miss to Play Cincinnati in Papajohns.com Bowl

The Golden Eagles and Bearcats meet for the first time since the 2004 season.

Nov. 28, 2007

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss now knows its opponent in the second annual Papajohns.com Bowl as they will play Cincinnati from the Big East Conference. The announcement was made by the bowl's executive director, Mark Meadows, Tuesday morning in Birmingham.

The Papajohns.com Bowl marks the final game of the Jeff Bower era, who resigned Monday. Bower's Golden Eagle head coaching career will end, where it began - at Legion Field in Birmingham. The 17th-year coach began his tenure as the Golden Eagles' head coach at the 1990 All American Bowl against NC State.

During his time at the helm of the program, Bower has amassed a 182-119-1 record that included 14-straight winning seasons, four C-USA Championships, three C-USA Coach of the Year awards, six-straight bowl games and 10 bowl berths in the last 11 years.

"We want to take this opportunity to thank Jeff for his loyalty to the University of Southern Mississippi and for his coaching achievements over the last 17 years," Southern Miss Director of Athletics Richard Giannini said. "We really wish him the best in the future and I know he will go down in University of Southern Mississippi athletic history as one of our most outstanding coaches. I am pleased Jeff will coach the team at the bowl.

"I hope that our fans will come out and support our team and Coach Bower when they play Cincinnati in Birmingham."

Cincinnati, who is ranked No. 20 by the Associated Press and No. 24 in the USA Today Coaches polls this week, finished the regular season with a 9-3 record as well as a 4-3 mark in the Big East. They finished their regular season last with a 52-31 victory over Syracuse.

"I told our team when I spoke to them the other day the best gift they could give Coach Bower was a victory over a Big East team and former C-USA member," Giannini added.

The two schools will meet for the first time since the 2004 season and this will be the 15th-overall meeting, as each team has won seven times in the series. Southern Miss (7-5) has won two of the last three meetings with the Bearcats.

 

 

The contest will take place Dec. 22 at 12 noon and be televised nationally on ESPN2. For tickets, please call the Southern Miss Athletic Ticket Office at 800-844-TICK (8425) or go online to SouthernMiss.com.

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