Heart of Dallas Bowl Preview Capsule
Line: Washington by 9.
Series Record: First meeting.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
After winning only four games combined the previous three seasons, Southern Miss tries to reach 10 wins for only the third time in school history - the others were 1988, Brett Favre's sophomore season, and 2011 when the Golden Eagles were 12-2 a year before going 0-12. Washington, an 0-12 team in 2008, is in a bowl for the sixth consecutive season but had to win its last two games to become eligible.
Washington's stingy defense against Southern Miss' offense with a 4,000-yard passer and two 1,000-yard rushers. The Huskies allowed only 17 combined points their last two games and scored three defensive touchdowns. Jalen Richard and Ito Smith are only the second set of Southern Miss teammates to rush for 1,000 yards in the same season - the last were running back Sammy Winder and quarterback Reggie Collier in 1981. The Huskies led the Pac-12 in total defense (350 yards per game) and scoring defense (17.8 points per game).
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Washington: RB Myles Gaskin is the first Huskies true freshman with a 1,000-yard season. Gaskin has 1,121 yards with 10 touchdowns.
Southern Miss: WR Mike Thomas has at least one touchdown catch in nine consecutive games. He has 62 catches for a single-season school record 1,201 yards, while his 13 TDs are one shy of Sherrod Gideon's single-season school record set in 1997.
FACTS & FIGURES
Huskies coach Chris Petersen has coached four games against Southern Miss, all between 2007-13 while he was at Boise State. Petersen won all of those, including a 60-7 rout in the last meeting in 2013. ... Washington is 17-17-1 in bowl games. ... Southern Miss set a school record with five 50-point games this season and scored at least 30 points in all nine of its victories.