New Orleans Bowl Preview

New Orleans, LA
December 21, 2008

Troy (8-4) vs Southern Miss (6-6)
(Sunday, 7 pm, ESPN)

Both teams enter this game on a roll. Southern Miss won their last four games to become bowl eligible. Troy, after a near-upset at LSU, trounced its two toughest Sun Belt opponents by a combined score of 83-12 to win the conference crown.

New Southern Miss head coach Larry Fedora's offense has been slowly improving this season. Running back Damion Fletcher has been remarkably consistent this season, topping 1,200 yards rushing for the third straight season. The Eagles have needed him while freshman quarterback Austin Davis learned the ropes.

Troy on the other hand was forced into playing its backup quarterback the second half of the season after losing starter Jamie Hampton to injury. Junior Levi Brown has been nothing short of spectacular since taking over, throwing 14 touchdown passes against only 3 interceptions.

Southern Miss has played better defense down the stretch, but it has been against inferior opponents. Against a Troy team that averages 33.3 points per game I don't think they will look as good as they did during their 4-game winning streak.

J.Pike's Pick: Troy 31, Southern Miss 23

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