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GAMEDAY College Football

LendingTree Bowl: Southern Miss 38, Rice 24

(AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

By CREG STEPHENSON
Associated Press

MOBILE, Ala. - Frank Gore Jr. ran for an NCAA bowl-record 329 yards and accounted for three touchdowns to help Southern Miss hold off Rice 38-24 in the LendingTree Bowl.

Gore, the son of the former NFL star, had a 64-yard scoring run in the second quarter, threw an 18-yard touchdown pass in the third and ran for 55 yards for another score in the fourth. He also ran 59 yards to set up the go-ahead touchdown for the Golden Eagles (7-6).

Gore, who had 21 carries, broke the mark of 317 yards set by Appalachian State's Camerun Peoples in the 2020 Myrtle Beach Bowl against North Texas. Gore broke the Southern Miss record of 304 by Sam Dejarnette against Florida State in 1982.

Rice quarterback AJ Padgett threw for 295 yards and three touchdowns - all in the third quarter - to give the Owls (5-8) a brief 24-17 lead. He threw 26 and 32 yards to Isaiah Esdale to tie a game Southern Miss led 17-3 at halftime, then connected with Bradley Rozner to put Rice up 24-17 with 5:06 left in the third.

Gore's 18-yard touchdown pass to Ty Mims - his seventh passing score of the season - tied it at 24 after three quarters. Trey Lowe threw a 26-yard touchdown to Jason Brownlee on the second play of the fourth quarter to give the Golden Eagles the lead at 31-24, and Gore's 55-yarder capped the scoring with 2:57 left.

Linebacker Daylen Gill had three of Southern Miss' season-high five sacks.

Lowe threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Jakarius Caston to give Southern Miss a 7-0 lead at the 12:20 mark of the first quarter. Gore's 64-yard run made it 14-0 early in the second.

Field goals of 34 yards by Rice's Christian VanSickle and 18 yards by Southern Miss' Brooks Bourgeois closed out the first-half scoring.

IMPRESSIVE BLOODLINES

Gore was not the only player on the field with famous NFL relatives. Rice wide receiver Luke McCaffrey, the son of former Denver Broncos receiver Ed McCaffrey and the younger brother of San Francisco 49ers star Christian, caught seven passes for 67 yards and also ran for 11 yards.

Luke McCaffrey transferred to Rice in 2021 from Nebraska, where he was a quarterback. He converted to receiver this past spring.

THE TAKEAWAY

Southern Miss: The Golden Eagles finish with a winning record in the second season under coach Will Hall and snapped a two-game losing streak vs. the Owls, their former Conference USA rival. Southern Miss now leads the all-time series 7-6 and is 12-15 in bowl games.

Rice: The Owls, the only FBS team with a losing record to play in a postseason game this year, is now 7-6 all-time in bowls. Rice was in the postseason for the first time since 2014.

December 17, 2022


Scoring Summary
First Quarter RiceSouMis
SouMis TD 12:20 Jakarius Caston 19 yard TD pass from Trey Lowe (Briggs Bourgeois Extra Point) 0 7
Second Quarter RiceSouMis
SouMis TD 10:14 Frank Gore Jr. 64 yard TD run (Briggs Bourgeois Extra Point) 0 14
Rice FG 6:04 Christian VanSickle 34 yard field goal 3 14
SouMis FG 2:40 Briggs Bourgeois 18 yard field goal 3 17
Third Quarter RiceSouMis
Rice TD 11:12 Isaiah Esdale 26 yard TD pass from AJ Padgett (Christian VanSickle Extra Point) 10 17
Rice TD 10:08 Isaiah Esdale 32 yard TD pass from AJ Padgett (Christian VanSickle Extra Point) 17 17
Rice TD 5:06 Bradley Rozner 18 yard TD pass from AJ Padgett (Christian VanSickle Extra Point) 24 17
SouMis TD 3:52 Tiaquelin Mims 18 yard TD pass from Frank Gore Jr. (Briggs Bourgeois Extra Point) 24 24
Fourth Quarter RiceSouMis
SouMis TD 14:18 Jason Brownlee 26 yard TD pass from Trey Lowe (Briggs Bourgeois Extra Point) 24 31
SouMis TD 2:57 Frank Gore Jr. 55 yard TD run (Briggs Bourgeois Extra Point) 24 38
Team Stats
  Rice Southern Miss
First downs 23 23
  Rushing 7 14
  Passing 14 7
  Penalty 2 2
3rd Down Efficiency 5-15, 33% 3-9, 33%
4th down efficiency 0-2, 0% 0-0, -%
Rushes-Yards 31-122 38-361
Passing Yards 303 189
Return Yards 31 109
Completions-Attempts-Int 20-39-1 9-19-0
Sacks-Yards Lost 5-26 3-11
Punts 7 4
Fumbles Lost 1-1 3-3
Penalties - Yards 9-57 6-55
Rice Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
A. Padgett 19 37 295 3 0
S. Itraish 1 2 8 0 1
Southern Miss Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
T. Lowe 7 16 170 2 0
F. Gore Jr. 2 3 19 1 0
Rice Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
C. Montgomery 7 63 9.0 0
B. Walker 1 20 20.0 0
Q. Jackson 3 15 5.0 0
J. Otoviano 6 12 2.0 0
L. McCaffrey 1 11 11.0 0
U. West 2 5 2.5 0
I. Esdale 1 2 2.0 0
A. Padgett 10 -6 -0.6 0
Southern Miss Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
F. Gore Jr. 21 329 15.7 2
J. Dean 4 12 3.0 0
J. Caston 1 9 9.0 0
K. Clay 4 7 1.8 0
T. Lowe 6 7 1.2 0
A. Willis 1 -2 -2.0 0
Rice Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
I. Esdale 3 83 27.7 2
L. McCaffrey 7 67 9.6 0
Q. Jackson 2 54 27.0 0
B. Rozner 3 42 14.0 1
B. Groen 3 29 9.7 0
J. Bradley 1 25 25.0 0
J. Otoviano 1 3 3.0 0
Southern Miss Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
J. Caston 4 94 23.5 1
J. Brownlee 3 72 24.0 1
T. Mims 1 18 18.0 1
L. Jones 1 5 5.0 0
Rice Interceptions
Player Int Yards
Southern Miss Interceptions
Player Int Yards
J. Stanley 1 0
Rice Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
C. Hunt 7 271 38.7
Southern Miss Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
M. Hunt 4 170 42.5
Rice Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
T. Thompson 1 2 2.0
Southern Miss Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
N. Brooks 2 12 6.0
Rice Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
T. Thompson 2 29 14.5
Southern Miss Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
T. Mims 4 97 24.3
Rice Missed FG
Player Length
Southern Miss Missed FG
Player Length




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