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Southern Miss wins first bowl since 2016 behind historic performance from Frank Gore Jr.

Frank Gore, Jr.
Photo courtesy of USM Athletics

Have a day, Frank Gore, Jr.

The Southern Miss running back rushed for an all-time bowl record of 329 yards on 21 carries with three total touchdowns as the Golden Eagles (7-6, 4-4 Sun Belt) edged Rice (5-8, 3-5 Conference USA) 38-24 in the 2022 LendingTree Bowl in Mobile, Ala. The victory was Southern Miss’ first postseason win since 2016.

“I’m just grateful for these guys. They opened up lanes, and we got it done,” Gore, surrounded by his teammates, told ESPN after the game. “I knew how important this was for our team.”

Southern Miss let go of a 17-3 halftime lead, allowing the Owls to score three consecutive touchdowns in the third quarter. That’s when Gore took it upon himself to make sure his team left Hancock Whitney Stadium with a win on Saturday night.

With 3:52 left to play in the third, Gore hit Tiaquelin Mims on a 18-yard touchdown pass, becoming just the second player in FBS history to have over 250 rushing yards and a passing touchdown in the same game.

Senior quarterback Trey Lowe III then found Jason Brownlee on a 26-yard touchdown pass on the following possession to give the Golden Eagles a 31-24 lead. With another touchdown from Gore – this time a 55-yard rushing score – and a Jay Stanley interception, Southern Miss sealed the win over its former conference foe.

Lowe finished the game 7 of 16 passing with 170 yards and two touchdowns. Jakarius Caston and Brownlee led the wideouts, combining for 166 yards and two scores. Daylen Gill added 11 tackles and three sacks.

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