HONOLULU — As if being 5,500 miles from Hattiesburg and having Waikiki beach as a backyard wasn't enough, Conference USA champion Southern Mississippi had to deal with even more distractions.
The 22nd-ranked Golden Eagles (11-2) face Western Athletic Conference runner-up Nevada (7-5) in the Hawaii Bowl on Saturday in what will be the final game under coach Larry Fedora.
Southern Miss won a school-record 11 games this season en route to capturing its first C-USA title since 2003 by upsetting Houston 49-28.
While Southern Miss will be making its first trip since 1977, Nevada is no stranger to the islands, or the Hawaii Bowl.
Nevada is making its seventh straight postseason appearance and 12th overall. It will be playing in the Hawaii Bowl for the third time since 2005.