HEART OF DALLAS BOWL
WASHINGTON HUSKIES (6-6) vs. SOUTHERN MISS GOLDEN EAGLES (9-4)
Kickoff: 2:20 p.m. ET/11:20 a.m. PT
Las Vegas: Washington -8.5
Southern Miss enjoyed a dream, comeback season under third-year head coach Todd Monken. Just three years removed from an 0-12 finish, Southern Miss won the Conference USA West division and competed in the league championship game.
Unfortunately for the Golden Eagles, they draw an unfavorable matchup with another program on the precipice of a meteoric rise.
Chris Petersen played one of the Pac-12’s youngest rosters in 2015, and the Huskies took their predictable lumps. However, with a road defeat of USC and blowouts of Arizona and Washington State, Washington began scratching the surface of the program’s lofty potential under Petersen and his staff.
Washington is fast becoming everything Boise State was in Petersen’s tenure defensively, employing an aggressive and physical style that yields results. The Huskies ranked 12th nationally in points allowed, putting them in company with more nationally recognized defenses like Michigan and Florida.
The Huskies sputtered offensively at times and needed the occasional gadgetry — the win at USC wouldn’t have been possible without a double-pass from wide receiver Marvin Hall to tight end Joshua Perkins, for example.
However, in routs of Arizona and Washington State, the Huskies’ stifling defense eventually led to the dam bursting on the offensive end and a deluge coming. Southern Miss can expect similar.