HOUSTON (KIAH) — Rice will make its first postseason bowl appearance in eight years when the Owls head to Mobile, Ala., to face Southern Mississippi in the Lending Tree Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 17.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to take this team to Mobile and play Southern Miss,” Rice head coach Mike Bloomgren said. “It’s especially meaningful since Rice has not been bowling since 2014 and when we practiced last week, I could tell how much this game means to our team. Our seniors have a chance to represent Rice one more time and earn the right to be called bowl champions and our underclassmen can take another step in the building of this program.”

 Southern Miss plays in the Sun Belt Conference and is 6-6. Rice is 5-7 and making its last appearance as a member of Conference USA. 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.

The Owls and Golden Eagles shared one common opponent this past season as both defeated Louisiana, Rice beat the Ragin Cajuns 33-21 on Sept. 17 at Rice Stadium won while Southern Miss won 39-24 in Hattiesburg on Oct. 27.  

The Associated Press contributed to this report.