Southern Miss running back Frank Gore Jr. ended the 2022 season on the highest of notes.
The son of legendary NFL running back Frank Gore ran for a bowl-game record 329 yards and accounted for three touchdowns as the Golden Eagles held off the Rice Owls 38-24 at the LendingTree Bowl on Saturday night.
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He broke the mark set by Appalachian State’s Camerun Peoples in the 2020 Myrtle Beach. He also broke the Southern Miss record of 304 set by Sam Dejarnette in 1982.
“He’s a special guy,” Southern Miss coach Will Hall said after the game. “He’s really learned how to be a leader. He’s really learned how to handle the responsibility of being Frank Gore Jr., and he has embraced that, and he’s embraced the whole deal of to whom much is given, much is required.
“He’s always intense and competitive and I’m just really proud he was able to have a performance like this on a national stage where a lot of people could see it. He’s got a chip on his shoulder like his short coach does.”
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After the game, Gore was talking to ESPN reporters when his auntie came down to celebrate with him and his teammates.
“Auntie, chill,” he told the woman.
After the video went viral on social media, Gore tweeted after the game, “I love my auntie to death.”
Gore said his father was at the game and met him on the field before the trophy presentation. His father had a career-high 212 yards in a single game with the San Francisco 49ers in 2006.
“I told him (about the record) when he came on the field and let him know that I’m the best in the family,” Gore Jr. said. “Thanks to my O-line, they opened up a lot of good holes and got me into the secondary. As coach (Hall) said, the first person could rarely tackle me. And if you’re able to get down the field untouched, that leads to a lot of big plays.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.