Your trusty and semi-daily college football bowl preview that today takes a quick-hit look at the Jan. 4 bowl menu, one that features just a single AAC-Conference USA matchup.
WHO: Southern Miss (7-5) vs. Tulane (6-6)
WHAT: The 17th Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
WHERE: Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas
WHEN: 11:30 a.m. ET on ESPN
THE SKINNY: In this college football bowl preview, we’ll start off by noting that four of the last nine Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowls have been decided by three points or less, and five of them have been decided by seven or fewer. Of course, Army helped trigger the firing of Major Applewhite last year by woodshedding Houston 70-14. … A win for Tulane would give Willie Fritz 14 the past two seasons. That would be the program’s best two-year stretch since winning 15 in 1998-99. The Green Wave could also claim bowl wins in back-to-back seasons for the first time ever. … Southern Miss’ last bowl win came in the 2016 New Orleans Bowl. … Neither team enters this game in Fort Worth on a roll. The Green Wave has lost three in a row, while the Eagles have lost two in a row. Southern Miss and Tulane are former Conference USA foes, having met 13 times in league play from 1996-2010. All told, they have met 30 times, including every year from 1979-2006. Southern Miss holds a decisive 23-7 edge all-time, including six wins in a row and nine of the last 10. … As we previously noted, the two schools’ rivalry trophy, replete with a fresh coat of paint, will be at stake in this game. … With the exception of one (47-42 win over Troy), every game Southern Miss won and every game they lost this season came by 14 or more points. … Storyline of the Day: Tulane’s rush offense vs. Southern Miss’ run defense. The Eagles give up 111.8 yards per game, best in Conference USA and 14th nationally. The Green Wave averages 249.8 yards per game on the ground, tops in the AAC and 11th in the country. They have six players who have rushed for more than 200 yards this season, and a seventh is at 192. … Southern Miss’ offense is triggered by quarterback Jack Abraham, whose 3,329 yards passing are second in the conference.
THE LINE: Southern Miss, +7
THE PREDICTION: Tulane 30, Southern Miss 20