2017 Independence Bowl
The 2017 Independence Bowl was a college football bowl game played on December 27, 2017, at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana. The 42nd annual Independence Bowl featured the Southern Miss Golden Eagles of Conference USA against the Florida State Seminoles of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Sponsored by Walk-On's Bistreaux & Bar, the game was officially known as the Walk-On's Independence Bowl.
|2017 Walk-On's Independence Bowl|
|42nd Walk-On's Independence Bowl|
|Date||December 27, 2017|
|MVP||James Blackman (QB, Florida State) & Nate Andrews (DB, Florida State)|
|Referee||Greg Sujack (MAC)|
|United States TV coverage|
|Announcers||Dave Lamont, Ahmad Brooks, Roddy Jones|
This was the twenty-third meeting between the schools, with Florida State holding a 13–8–1 advantage. They had most recently played in 1996, when the Seminoles defeated the Golden Eagles by a score of 54–14.
On December 21, 2017, an unofficial report was published on Reddit claiming that the Seminoles were not bowl eligible due to an NCAA rule stating that for an FCS opponent to be countable towards bowl eligibility, the FCS program must have awarded 90% of the FCS scholarship limit. Delaware State, an FCS team that lost to FSU earlier in the season, did not meet the 90% threshold set by the NCAA. Without this win, FSU stood at 5–6 on the season. However, on December 22, 2017, Florida State addressed the issue and stated that Delaware State verified its scholarship situation as eclipsing the 90-percent threshold. This, FSU claims, is due to an alleged established NCAA rule interpretation, allowing academic and other non-athletic scholarships to count towards the required threshold, however they did not reference the interpreted rule. The confirmation officially gave Florida State bowl eligibility, and allowed the team to play in the Independence Bowl.
|Time of possession||22:52||37:08|
|Southern Miss||Passing||Kwanda Griggs||13-25, 86 yds., 1 TD|
|Rushing||Ito Smith||16 carries, 92 yds.|
|Receiving||Korey Robertson||4 rec., 36 yds., 1 TD|
|Florida State||Passing||James Blackman||18-26, 233 yds., 4 TD|
|Rushing||Cam Akers||13 carries, 94 yds.|
|Receiving||Auden Tate||5 rec., 84 yds., 3 TD|
- Deen, Safid (December 27, 2017). "FSU's Cam Akers, James Blackman shine in freshman finales in Independence Bowl". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
- Bowl payout
- Florida State Seminoles vs. Southern Miss Golden Eagles series history
- "FSU may not be bowl eligible". Reddit.com/r/CFB/. December 21, 2017. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
- "Florida State defies internet detectives and says that it is in fact bowl eligible in a statement". SBNation.com. December 22, 2017.