Just 20 minutes after the Washington State Cougars kick off their Bowl game, their in-state rivals, the Washington Huskies, get their own Bowl game underway against the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles. The Huskies took a step back this season, finishing 6-6 this year after an 8-6 record last year. Now, that isn’t that much of a surprise as they lost four big-time starters, with 3 of them going in the 1st round and the other in the 2nd round. What is a surprise, is that they were all from the defense but the defense was the clear strength of this team. The defense allowed just 350 yards per game (YPG, 28th in the FBS), 216 yards through the air (PYG, 54th), 133.9 yards on the ground (RYG, 29th) and, most importantly, only gave up 17.8 points per game (PPG, 12th). That last stat is crucial as the offense ranks 70th in total offense (388 YPG), 53rd in passing (235.5 PYG), 91st in rushing (152.8 RYG) and 61st in scoring (29.5 PPG). Looking to follow in Shaq Thompson’s footsteps is linebacker Travis Feeney. Feeney is 6’3”, 223lbs but not that dissimilar in athleticism to Thompson, and that athleticism really shows when he is in coverage or in pursuit. Furthermore, despite his slender frame for a linebacker, he has surprising strength. He can utilize a bull rush and can hit any player to the ground, though he does need to wrap up more when he is tackling. He projects as a 4-3 OLB or possibly a safety in the Deone Bucannon mould. Jaydon Mickens (WR), Joshua Perkins (TE), Taniela Tapou (DT), Korey Durkee (P) and Cory Littleton (LB) join Feeney in looking to make a splash in their final game in the purple and gold. The Southern Miss Golden Eagles are trending in the opposite direction. 3 years ago, head coach Todd Monken took over and they won 1 game. This year they are 9-4, Conference USA Western Division Champs and are chasing their first 10-win season since 2011. They have had this success with a high-powered offense. They rank 10th in total offense (520 YPG), 12th in passing (327.9 PYG), 40th in rushing (191.9 RYG) and 11th in scoring (40.6 PPG). I think it is safe to say this offense vs. defense match-up will produce some fireworks. Fortunately for the Golden Eagles, they won’t face as big a test against the Huskies offense. Their defense ranks 40th in total yards (364 YPG), 64th in passing (223.3 PYG), 34th in rushing (140.8 RYG) and 46th in scoring (24.2 PPG). Plenty of people won’t know that Jamie Collins (Pro Bowl OLB for the New England Patriots) hails from Southern Miss, so with that in mind, don’t write any of these prospects off as you never know who will be the next draft steal; RB Jalen Richards, CB Kalan Reed, OT Rashad Hill, WR Mike Thomas, RB Justice Hayes and OT Norman Price are the Golden Flashes top seniors. If you want to watch this game, or any of the other Bowl games, the complete Bowl schedule can be found here, where you’ll be able to see how and when you can watch every game.