Southern Miss will play six home games for the first time in 20 years, beginning with instate opponent Jackson State on August 31st. Coach Jeff Bower's Golden Eagles will follow that up with Big 10 Conference champion Illinois on September 7th to be televised by ESPN. Southern Miss will meet Memphis a week later on September 14th in Hattiesburg.
Southern Miss Director of Athletics Richard Giannini said, We are pleased to have six very quality football games in Hattiesburg next fall. Four of the six teams played in bowl games last year and the other two are great rivalry games. This is probably the finest football home schedule in Southern Miss history and we know Golden Eagle fans will be committed to setting a season ticket record."
Following the Memphis game Southern Miss has back-to-back road games at Alabama on September 21st and at Army on September 28th. The Golden Eagles will have an open day on October 5th before another road game at South Florida the following Saturday. Cincinnati travels to M-M Roberts Stadium on October 19th and its back on the road October 30th, a Wednesday night game at TCU to be televised by ESPN.
The Golden Eagles have another open date on November 2nd, travel to Birmingham, Alabama facing U-A-B on November 9th. Five days later on a Thursday, November 14th Southern Miss entertains Louisville in Hattiesburg on ESPN. The Golden Eagles travel to New Orleans November 23rd taking on Tulane and close out the 2002 regular season with a home date November 30th against East Carolina. Game times will be released at a later date.