Tonight's game

December 20, 2005|By ORLANDO SENTINEL

New Orleans Bowl

Arkansas State (6-5) vs. Southern Mississippi (6-5)

Site -- Cajun Field, Lafayette, La.

Time -- 8

TV -- ESPN

Line -- Southern Miss by 17

Key stats -- Arkansas State is 23rd nationally in rushing offense (199.9 ypg) and 98th in passing offense (170.9 ypg). Southern Miss is 34th in passing offense (245.4 ypg) and 107th in rushing offense (104.0 ypg).

Arkansas State -- The Indians won the Sun Belt Conference to earn their first bowl bid. There's a nice 1-2 punch at tailback in Antonio Warren and Shermar Bracey (a combined 189.4 ypg), but ASU scored just 29 total points in four of it past five games.

Southern Miss -- The Golden Eagles started 4-2 before fading. If RB Larry Thomas gets going, Southern Miss rolls. The run defense suffered the last half of the season (203.6 ypg in the final five games).

The buzz -- In the first bowl of the season, Arkansas State's hoping Southern Miss' run defense stays bad.

The pick -- Southern Miss, 38-17

Orlando Sentinel

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