Battle of the birds: LendingTree Bowl at a glance

An illustration featuring a Rice University football helmet and the LendingTree Bowl logo.

This week’s LendingTree Bowl marks the Rice football program’s first postseason action since 2014.

The Owls will face the University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles, who are former members of Conference USA — as Rice will soon be, as it departs for the American Athletic Conference following this academic year.

LendingTree Bowl logo

Who: Rice Owls (5-7) vs. Southern Miss Golden Eagles (6-6).

Where: Hancock Whitney Stadium, Mobile, Alabama.

When: Dec. 17, 4:45 p.m.

TV: ESPN (streaming here).

Radio: Streaming here.

If you’re going: Rice Athletics has compiled ticket, hotel and game-day information at its Rice Owls Bowl Central page; among the highlights are an alumni and fan social the day before the game and an official Owls fan tailgate. The LendingTree Bowl also has a list of bowl-related events, a virtual fan guide and more information on entertainment options in Mobile.

Rice fans are encouraged to purchase game tickets through the official link, which will benefit the athletic department via direct financial impact and provide a boost to future bowl selection prospects. Fans who wish to donate tickets for Rice students and Mobile-area youth to attend can do so here. The last day to buy tickets through Rice's allotment is Dec. 12.

For more information, email

Bowl history: Rice is 7-5 in 12 previous bowl games, the last a 30-6 victory over Fresno State University in the 2014 Hawaii Bowl. Southern Miss, a member of the Sun Belt Conference, is 11-15 in 26 bowl games, the last a 30-13 loss to Tulane University in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl following the 2019 season.

Matchup history: Rice and Southern Miss have split their previous 12 meetings. The Owls have won two in a row against the Golden Eagles, the last a 24-19 victory in 2021 at Rice Stadium.