This was the final game for head coachJeff Bower, ending his 17-season tenure at Southern Miss. Bower was forced to resign after their disappointing season. After Bower's resignation, the selection of Southern Miss was notable as Bower's first game as head coach of the Golden Eagles was also at Legion Field, in the All-American Bowl in 1990.
Cincinnati quarterback Ben Mauk passed for four touchdowns and 334 yards. Southern Miss quarterback Jeremy Young went 18-for-32 for 122 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. After being down 31-14 in the fourth, quarter Jeremy Young cut the lead by scoring a 5-yard touchdown pass to Chris Johnson, but Southern Miss' rally fell short after they couldn't recover an onside kick or convert a fourth-and-1 play on its next possession. Only 35,258 people attended the game, less than half of Legion Field's capacity. Cincinnati distributed 8,352 tickets, a school record for bowl attendance, while Southern Mississippi distributed around 5,000 tickets. Cincinnati's win brought their record to 10-3, their first 10-win season since 1951. With the loss Southern Miss' record ended at 7-5.