HONOLULU, Hawai‘i – The University of Nevada will make its third appearance in the 10th annual Sheraton Hawai‘i Bowl on Christmas Eve, facing Southern Mississippi in its first appearance here.
The Golden Eagles upset Houston 49-28 in the C-USA championship game in Houston and finished the regular season 11-2.
The Wolf Pack went 7-5 overall and finished tied for 2nd in the WAC with Utah State with a 5-2 conference mark, behind Louisiana Tech.
The Golden Eagles will make a bowl appearance for the 10th consecutive year and 14th in the last 15 years.
This will be the last game for Larry Fedora as head coach of Southern Miss. Fedora accepted the head coaching job at North Carolina on December 8. Southern Miss announced Ellis Johnson as its new head coach on December 20. The South Carolina defensive coordinator will head to Hattiesburg after South Carolina's appearance against Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl on January 2.
The Golden Eagles are 33-19 in Fedora's 4 seasons at the helm.
The Golden Eagles are led offensively by Davis at quarterback, who has thrown for 3,331 yards and 28 touchdowns, while their defense set an NCAA record with eight interception returns for touchdowns.
The Wolf Pack will be making a bowl appearance for the seventh consecutive year and third in the Sheraton Hawai‘i Bowl since 2005. Nevada defeated Central Florida 49-48 in 2005 and lost to SMU 45-10 in 2009. Nevada will be competing in its 12th all-time bowl.
Sheraton Hawai‘i Bowl Executive Director David A. K. Matlin said, "One of the most memorable games in our history featured the University of Nevada defeating UC, 49-48 in overtime. With an exciting style of play, featuring the WAC's leading receiver Rishard Matthews, Nevada will represent the WAC well."
The Wolf Pack has the nation’s fifth-most potent offense, averaging 522.8 yards per game and also ranks eighth nationally in rushing offense at 251.8 yards per game. Matthews is among the nation’s leaders in receiving (91 rec., 1,364 yds.) and has seven 100-yard receiving games.
Kickoff for the 2011 Sheraton Hawai‘i Bowl is Saturday, Dec. 24 at 8 p.m. EST/3 p.m. HST, on ESPN from Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.
The Congrove Computer Rankings project Southern Miss to win by just 1.97 points as it expects this to be the 9th-most closely contested matchup of the 35 bowl games.