Southern Miss looks to pull of second-straight upset against rivals Tulane
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Southern Miss returns to Hattiesburg Saturday afternoon after a humbling away-game loss at the hands of the now number three-ranked Florida State.
It doesn’t get much easier, however, with the Golden Eagles preparing to take on rivals Tulane, who were formerly ranked No. 24 a week ago, in the Battle for the Bell.
Despite the overwhelming loss against the Seminoles, head coach Will Hall says the defeat won’t have a lingering effect ahead of a rivalry matchup against the Green Wave.
“It’s the exact same as we always do. We come in on Monday and watch the previous game. We wanna grow from any mistakes and reward any good play,” Hall said. “I thought our young DBs showed they can really play... I thought we played hard. We gotta learn from our mistakes and move forward.”
Southern Miss walked into Yulman Stadium last season as a 12-point underdog and came away with an excellent program-building 27-24 win to reclaim the Bell and bring it back to Hattiesburg for the first time since 2010. It was their only nonconference loss of the 2022 season.
Similar to last season, the Battle for the Bell has the potential to make or break the 2023 season. Southern Miss enters the game as an 11-point underdog.
The Golden Eagles will look to recreate last year’s electric atmosphere inside the Rock in their last meeting for three seasons in an all-important matchup.
“[It’s a] huge game... we don’t play again until ‘26, so whoever wins this game is going to have this bell for a while,” Coach Hall said. “It means a lot to our fan base. It means a lot to our program.”
One cause for concern that was quickly eased by Coach Hall was the usage of star Frank Gore Jr. over the first two games, who has only 17 rushing attempts good for just 60 yards. Hall confirmed with WLBT that Gore’s lack of snaps is nothing of worry and the lead running back will have increased gameplay this weekend.
Starting Tulane QB Michael Pratt remains questionable for the rivalry matchup, with backup Kai Horton - who started and played the entire game for the Green Wave against Ole Miss last weekend in a 37-20 losing effort - poised to start.
The Battle of the Bell will begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday and will be streamed on ESPNU and ESPN Plus.
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