|David Cohen, USM's Director of Communications
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss athletics department has unveiled its full promotional slate for Saturday night's football game versus Rice. Festivities for the 6 p.m. game include the Parent and Family Tailgate, 1996 C-USA Championship Reunion and Breast Cancer Awareness Game.
The Golden Eagles (3-1, 1-0 C-USA) are coming off a 34-7 win at UTEP last Saturday night. The 2015 meeting against Rice saw Southern Miss produce a school-record 682 yards of offense in a 65-10 win.
For the 20 Year Anniversary of the 1996 Conference USA Championship team, all players, coaches, trainers and managers are invited back to take part in the celebration. It will include a tailgate for the team members prior to the game so that they can gather together. The team will also have the opportunity to participate in Eagle Walk. A presentation will also take place during the game to honor the anniversary.
The 1996 campaign marked head coach Jeff Bower's most wins yet at Southern Miss and was the third of his 14 consecutive winning seasons. The march began with an 11-7 win at Georgia. The squad also reeled off a seven-game winning streak, and the defense allowed just 14 combined points in a three-game span against Louisville, East Carolina and Memphis. Current radio color commentator Lee Roberts was the starting quarterback as well.
All-conference performers included Roberts, Eric Booth, Leroy Dewitt, Marchant Kenney, Patrick Surtain, Cedric Walthaw, Terry Hardy, Perry Phenix and Daryl Terrell. Adalius Thomas was a Sporting News Freshman All-American too, and current running backs coach Lytrel Pollard was a linebacker on the squad before ultimately earning captain honors the next season.
Anyone who still needs to RSVP can contact Jonathan Swalley, sports marketing assistant, at Jonathan.Swalley@eagles.usm.edu or 601-266-6866.
Several facets of the game will raise breast cancer awareness throughout the night as well. One of the most visible recognitions will be when Deanna Favre, CEO and co-founder of Favre 4 Hope Foundation, will serve as the honorary captain for the game. She was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer in 2004. Deanna and her husband Brett Favre established the Favre 4 Hope foundation in 1995 which has disbursed $8.1 million in grants with $1.9 million going directly to aid breast cancer patients.
Fans are encouraged to wear a splash of pink with their favorite game day attire. The first 5,000 fans in attendance will also receive a pink ribbon to wear to show their support for Breast Cancer Awareness. Several support groups will be in attendance, and there will be public address recognition of survivors and those currently going through treatment.
To show their support of this cause, Golden Eagle football players will sport pink wristbands, while coaches and staff members will wear pink visors or hats. October serves as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Southern Miss Volleyball and Soccer programs will help to show their support for this cause with designated games later in the season.
Football season ticket holders will once again have the opportunity to sign up for the Golden Eagle Pride Spirit Line that takes place prior to the game. Space is limited to the first 50 season ticket holders and a guest per season ticket holder that call into the Ticket Office to reserve their spot. Season ticket holders may sign up for this opportunity by calling Chris Adams in the Ticket Office at 601-266-6571 or email him at Christopher.L.Adams@eagles.usm.edu.
Fans will be excited to taste our new premium food items for this game as well. This week’s items include the 3 Little Pigs Nachos which consists of Pork Rinds, Pulled Pork, Bacon, Jalapenos and Cheese. Another premium food item available for this game is a Red Beans and Rice Sausage Dog. These items will be available for purchase at the premium food item concessions stands located throughout M.M. Roberts Stadium.
The New Student and Retention Program will hold its Parent and Family tailgate in front of Scianna Hall (adjacent to M.M. Roberts Stadium and the Joe P. Park Practice Facility) from 3 to 5 p.m. Everyone in attendance is welcome to experience the Eagle Walk, a beloved pregame tradition around the edge of the stadium, that will begin at 4 p.m. Tickets to the tailgate are $20 per person, and reservations are required for all participants. With a valid student ID, current Southern Miss students may attend the tailgate complimentary. Reservations are required and will include a ticket to the tailgate event and football game.
Registration for the event can be found here.
Fans looking to purchase tickets for the Saturday, Oct. 1 contest between Southern Miss and Rice can go ahead and do so now online at SouthernMissTickets.com. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Pat Ferlise Ticket Office (Monday – Friday; 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) or by calling 1-800-844-TICK.