Independence Bowl 2017: FSU vs. Southern Mississippi TV Schedule, Time and Odds

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistDecember 26, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, FL - OCTOBER 21: James Blackman looks to hand the ball off to running back Cam Akers #3 of the Florida State Seminoles during their game against the Louisville Cardinals at Doak Campbell Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
Michael Chang/Getty Images

The Florida State Seminoles (6-6) will try to cap off what has been an eventful, dramatic and ultimately turbulent season with a win in the 2017 Independence Bowl on Wednesday afternoon. 

Standing in the way of that postseason silver lining, though, will be the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (8-4)—who have their eyes trained on the program's first set of consecutive bowl wins since 2005-06 as the sides get set to clash at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana. 

So as anticipation brews for the ACC-Conference USA clash, here's a rundown of all the viewing and betting information you need before kickoff. 

            

Date: Wednesday, Dec. 27

Time: 1:30 p.m. ET

TV: ESPN

Odds (via OddsShark): Florida State -17

             

Preview

LEXINGTON, KY - SEPTEMBER 03: Ito Smith #25 of the Southern Miss Golden Eagles runs the ball against the Kentucky Wildcats at Commonwealth Stadium on September 3, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. Southern Mississippi defeated Kentucky 44-35. (Photo by Michae
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Following a 3-6 start to the 2017 campaign that was marred by the loss of quarterback Deondre Francois to a season-ending knee injury, the Seminoles rattled off three straight wins over Delaware State, Florida and Louisiana-Monroe to secure the program's 36th straight trip to a bowl game. 

Now in by the skin of their teeth, the Seminoles will be fighting to extend another streak. 

According to the Orlando Sentinel's Safid Deen, a win over the Golden Eagles would propel Florida State to its 41st straight winning season. 

The Golden Eagles, meanwhile, are coming off their second straight winning season under head coach Jay Hopson and third straight overall dating back to Todd Monken's final year at the helm. 

And just like the Seminoles, the Golden Eagles wrapped up the regular season with three consecutive wins—including a 66-21 romp past Charlotte on Nov. 18. 

The task now will be for Southern Mississippi to try to slow down a Florida State offense that packs game-breaking potential thanks to the two-pronged rushing attack of Cam Akers and Jacques Patrick. 

While neither Akers nor Patrick topped 1,000 yards rushing this season, they both averaged better than 5.0 yards per carry and proved capable of carrying the offense in the regular-season finale when they each bested the century mark against ULM. 

The Golden Eagles should also lean heavily on their rushing attack against a Seminoles defense that allowed 136 rushing yards per game during the regular season. 

Leading the charge will be senior standout Ito Smith, who spearheaded Southern Miss' offense in 2017 by rushing for 1,321 yards and 13 touchdowns while catching 36 passes for 370 yards and a pair of scores. 

Smith, who's flown under the radar in C-USA at 5'9'' and 195 pounds, also recently became the 10th player in FBS history to tally more than 4,000 rushing and 1,000 receiving yards for his career. 

"Ito Smith, can't nobody stop Ito Smith," quarterback Kwadra Griggs said, per the Hattiesburg American's Jason Munz. "He's a great, incredible player. I hope to see him in the NFL one day."

The gulf in talent between the two programs—especially on defense—has the Seminoles favored by more than two scores, but don't be surprised if a seasoned Golden Eagle offense is able to hang around well into the second half. 

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