USM's Monken open to playing Ole Miss in future

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Southern Miss and Mississippi State are about to end a drought of 24 years of not meeting each other on the football field. The Golden Eagles and Bulldogs will square off in the 2014 season opener Sat., August 30, in Starkville.

Mississippi State agreed to playing Southern Miss in Hattiesburg to begin the 2015 season, so it'll be a chance for the two schools to figure out if they want to reignite a rivalry.

"Most of the SEC schools love the opportunity to play us but they don't want to come here," Southern Miss head coach Todd Monken said. "That's where you have to give Mississippi State credit. Mississippi State is coming here in another year."

Meanwhile, USM and Ole Miss haven't squared off since 1984, when the Golden Eagles won 13-10 over the Rebels in Jackson. Southern Miss also beat Ole Miss 27-7 the year before in Oxford.

While the Golden Eagles do hold a two-game winning streak against the Rebels, Ole Miss leads the all-time series with 18 wins in 24 matchups.

"I think they need to ask [Ole Miss head coach] Hugh Freeze if he's willing to do a home-and-home with Southern Miss," Monken said. "Then we'll see if he wants to do that. [Fans have] years of built-up frustration of not being able to play them. I think that, more than anything, is them wanting to play Mississippi or Mississippi State and now we get the opportunity in the next couple of years [to play MSU]."

Southern Miss is 13-14-1 all time against Mississippi State, including a seven-game winning streak over the Bulldogs from 1977-83. Their season opener will be televised on the SEC Network with a kickoff time of 6:30 p.m.