Frank Gore Jr. sets all-time bowl record in Southern Miss' win over Rice
Frank Gore Jr. would not let his team lose.
The Southern Miss running back ran wild in his team’s victory over Rice in the LendingTree Bowl on Saturday night. In the 38-24 win, Gore set an all-time bowl record with 329 yards on just 21 carries.
Gore rushed for two touchdowns and also had an 18-yard touchdown pass. He scored from 64 yards out to put the Golden Eagles up 14-0 early in the second quarter and then he put the game away when he reeled off a 55-yard score with under three minutes to play.
FRANK GORE JR IS UP TO 329 YARDS & 3TD’s THIS IS NOT NORMAL!! pic.twitter.com/T1TVvx8HDz
— Kyron Samuels (@kyronsamuels) December 18, 2022
With that last touchdown, Gore surged to the top of the record books for an individual bowl performance. Previously, Appalachian State’s Camerun Peoples’ 317 yards in the 2020 Myrtle Beach Bowl was the all-time bowl game record for rushing yards. Now that record belongs to Gore.
Frank Gore Jr. stands alone with 329 rushing yards in a bowl pic.twitter.com/Shd53MwIU3
— Matt Brown (@MattBrownCFB) December 18, 2022
USM needed every one of Gore’s yards, too.
The Golden Eagles appeared to be in control when they took a 17-3 lead into halftime, Rice scored 21 unanswered points in the third quarter in the span of just over six minutes. That flipped what was a 14-point lead into a seven-point deficit with Rice ahead 24-17 with 5:06 to play in the third quarter.
From there, however, Southern Miss would score the game’s final 21 points. Gore’s 18-yard touchdown pass to Tiaquelin Mims tied the score at 24-24.
hey babe wake up FRANK GORE JR. just threw a touchdown pass 👑 pic.twitter.com/RQJ3nOGLer
— The Transfer Portal CFB (@TPortalCFB) December 18, 2022
After that touchdown, the Southern Miss defense came up clutch. Rice came up scoreless on its final five offensive possessions as it punted three times, turned it over on downs inside the 10 and threw an interception.
That strong fourth-quarter performance, plus the all-around excellence from Gore, resulted in Southern Miss’ first bowl win since 2016.
Southern Miss won a combined six games in 2020 and 2021, but the bowl win over Rice gave the Golden Eagles seven wins for the 2022 season.
And with Gore and a significant chunk of this team’s core expected to return, Southern Miss could be a team on the rise in the Sun Belt next season.