Tonight's bowl game

The Baltimore Sun


Matchup -- Ohio (9-4) vs. Southern Mississippi (8-5).

Site -- Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Ala.

Time, TV -- 8 p.m., ESPN

The line -- Southern Miss by 6

The game -- This is Ohio's first bowl since 1968 and just its third ever, and it comes in the second season under former Nebraska coach Frank Solich. The Bobcats don't have a good offense (106th, at 280.7 yards per game), but they had a seven-game winning streak until they lost in the Mid-American Conference title game to Central Michigan. TB Kalvin McRae (93.5 ypg, 15 TDs) must play well because if he is stymied, the Bobcats can't beat anyone with their anemic passing attack (125.3 ypg). Southern Miss also must run well because its passing attack is also weak (99th at 161.3 ypg). TB Damion Fletcher (110.8 ypg) is 11th nationally in rushing; he had seven 100-yard games this season. TE Shawn Nelson is the best receiver. As usual, the Golden Eagles have a speedy, aggressive defense, led by LB Gerald McRath and CB Caleb Hendrix.

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