MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Southern Miss and Rice will meet in the Lending Tree Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. The game is on Dec. 17.

Southern Miss plays in the Sun Belt Conference and is 6-6. Rice is 5-7 and making its first bowl appearance since 2014.

The two are former Conference USA opponents and split the first 12 meetings. Southern Miss is led by running back Frank Gore Jr., who has run for 1,053 yards and seven touchdowns.

Rice quarterback TJ McMahon has passed for more 2,102 yards and 18 touchdowns while throwing 14 interceptions.

TOP PLAYERS

Southern Miss: RB Frank Gore Jr., 1,053 yards rushing, seven TDs; 19 catches, 219 yards; 172 yards passing, two TDs.

Rice: LB Josh Pearcy, 43 tackles, 8 1/2 tackles for loss, 5 1/2 sacks.

NOTABLE

The two teams split the first 12 meetings as former Conference USA opponents. Rice lost its final three games but earned a bowl spot because of its Academic Progress Rate scores.

LAST TIME

Rice 24, Southern Miss 19, Oct. 2, 2021.

BOWL HISTORY

Southern Miss: Third time in a Mobile bowl; 11-15 in bowl games

Rice: 7-5 in bowl games, first appearance since 2014.