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Five Bowl Game Memories: 1997 Liberty Bowl

Dec. 19, 2017

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- With the Walk-On's Independence Bowl against Florida State just eight days away, SouthernMiss.com takes a look back at five of the Golden Eagles' fondest moments in postseason play. Today's focus is on the 1997 Liberty Bowl, where the Black and Gold steamrolled Pitt, 41-7.

Southern Miss had just captured its second-straight C-USA crown, this time with an 8-0 record, before taking on the Panthers in front of 50,209 in the Dec. 31 AXA Liberty Bowl in Memphis. Both the Golden Eagle offense and defense shone, with wide receiver Sherrod Gideon selected the game's Most Valuable Player after hauling in three touchdown passes from quarterback Lee Roberts. Southern Miss also scored three touchdowns courtesy of a fumble return by safety Perry Phenix and interception returns by defensive end Adalius Thomas and cornerback Terrance Parrish. The 34-point margin of victory was the widest in the bowl's history. The Golden Eagles ended the season at 9-3 and ranked No. 22 in the nation.

Southern Miss outscored the Panthers 27-0 in the second half. It was the team's first bowl game since 1990 and kicked off a four-game streak of postseason play, including three wins.

Fans can purchase tickets for the Dec. 27 bowl game against Florida State by visiting SouthernMissTickets.com or calling 1-800-844-TICK. Students can get admission for just $20 by calling the athletics ticket office. The office will close on Dec. 21 for the break, but more information can be found here.

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