Wednesday, December 14, 2022
MOBILE – Rice and Southern Miss took some time away from football today for an afternoon at the beach.
The teams avoided the rain and storms with a comfortable afternoon at Dauphin Island.
The teams enjoyed some beach time, games and snacks, as well as a visit to Fort Gains and the Alabama aquarium.
“I want to tell you how excited we are to bring our football team to Mobile, Alabama, and to come and be part of the LendingTree Bowl,” Rice head coach Mike Bloomgren said. “I looked at the schedule and I think there’s a lot of great things for the coaches’ families, a lot of great things for this team to do this week.”
Prior to the beach day, Rice and Southern Miss held practices in Mobile. The Golden Eagles held a 75-minute workout at Saraland High School. The Owls held a two-hour practice at the University of South Alabama indoor facility.
The teams visited their gifts suites and enjoyed some free time Wednesday night.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE?
The Southern Miss campus is located 90 miles from the city of Mobile.
USM head coach Will Hall was asked if his team would have an advantage playing so close to home.
“I don’t know if it’s an advantage or not, but we are excited about it,” Hall said. “You know, we do have a really good fan base, a very passionate fan base and Mobile being close to Hattiesburg is awesome for us. I expect our Southern Miss fans to show up and do a great job. We’re just proud to be back in the post-season. Everybody asked me before the bowl selection ‘where do you want to go?’ We we’re proud to be here, but we’re certainly excited to be in the LendingTree Bowl and be in Mobile.”
The Golden Eagles made the move from Conference USA to the Sun Belt Conference this season. USM and South Alabama met on the field this season, but the game was played in Hattiesburg. South Alabama posted a 27-20 win over Southern Miss on Nov. 19.
MY HOME IS IN ALABAMA
A total of 12 players from Rice and Southern Miss call the state of Alabama home. USM has nine Alabama natives on its roster, while Rice has three.
Southern Miss has three players with local ties to Mobile, including freshman receiver Tiaquelin Mims, redshirt freshman running back Jimmie Hayward and redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Gerquan Scott. Mims is from Bay Minette and attended Baldwin County High School. Hayward is from Theodore and went to Theodore High School. Scott is form Mobile and played at Davidson High School.
Other Alabamians on the USM roster are sophomore safety Jay Jones (Demopolis), redshirt freshman linebacker Arian Gregory (Luverne), sophomore defensive tackle Brodarius Lewis (Prattville), redshirt freshman offensive lineman Drew Larson (Madison, Alabama; Bob Jones HS), senior offensive lineman Tykeem Doss (Aliceville) and sophomore defensive lineman Kristin Booth (Oxford).
The three Alabama natives playing for the Owls are redshirt freshman safety Marcus Williams (Hoover HS), redshirt freshman cornerback Joshua Williams (Linden), redshirt freshman wide receiver Peyton Stevenson (Demopolis)