Hawai'i Bowl 2011, Nevada Vs. Southern Miss: Your Football Fix On Christmas

As a result of their win over Houston in the Conference USA title game earlier this month, the Southern Miss. Golden Eagles are celebrating with a trip to the 10th annual Hawaii Bowl at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu this weekend where they will tangle with the Nevada Wolf Pack.

Not only did Southern Miss bury a heavily-favored Houston squad by a score of 49-28 in the conference title game, it finished an impressive 11-2 overall with those two defeats coming against Marshall and UAB in C-USA action by a total of just nine points. The Golden Eagles have now put together their 18th consecutive winning season, which is the fourth-longest streak among Football Bowl Subdivision programs, trailing only Florida, Florida State and Virginia Tech.

For a few players to watch in the Hawai'i Bowl, head over to Tony Pauline's bowl prospect preview.

While the coaching position at USM is in a transitional phase, Nevada's Chris Ault continues to be the steady, guiding force behind the Wolf Pack on the sidelines. In his eighth season of his third go-around with Nevada, Ault brought his squad back from a disappointing 1-3 mark to begin 2011, the unit then reeling off five straight wins and closing out the regular season with a vicious 56-3 win over Idaho to finish 7-5 overall and 5-2 in Western Athletic Conference play.

Nevada has played in this bowl twice already, losing to SMU in the most recent outing in 2009 by a score of 45-10. Back in 2005, the Pack was pushed beyond regulation and needed overtime to register a 49-48 victory over UCF. Following that win over the Knights, Nevada had dropped four consecutive bowl decisions before posting a 20-13 triumph versus Boston College in last year's Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, which leaves the Pack with a record of 4-7 in the postseason dating back to 1948.

For more on each bowl game, stay tuned to SB Nation's 2011 college football bowl game bids coverage. And visit our many college football blogs. Check out the official site for the Hawaii Bowl here.

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