Mississippi State to play in St. Petersburg Bowl

WJTV – Mississippi State’s program-record bowl streak will reach seven.

The Bulldogs are going to the St. Petersburg Bowl to take on Miami University of Ohio on Dec. 26 at 10 a.m. The game will be played at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. and televised on ESPN.

“On behalf of everyone at Mississippi State, we are excited to accept a bowl invitation for a school-record seventh straight year,” MSU Athletic Director John Cohen said. “St. Petersburg is an excellent destination, and our fans have shown over the years how well they travel to support the Bulldogs. We look forward to the experience of playing a bowl game in the state of Florida for the third time in five seasons. Congratulations to head coach Dan Mullen and his staff on earning a bid to the St. Petersburg Bowl.”

Despite not reaching the needed six wins for bowl eligibility, Mississippi State will be bowling thanks to a lack of six-win teams to fill all 40 bowl games. That allows 5-7 teams to be considered for invitation.

By winning the Egg Bowl 55-20, the Bulldogs reached five wins and had another factor going in their favor: their academic progress rate (APR). Their mark of 971 is 12 points better than the national average and ranks second among the 12 teams that finished 5-7.

“We are thrilled to reach a bowl game for a school-record seventh straight year and finish the season in St. Petersburg,” Dan Mullen said. “This is a great opportunity for one of the winningest senior classes in school history and for our program to build momentum for 2017. It also speaks volumes of our student-athletes for their commitment in the classroom to qualify for a bowl based on our successful APR.”

Mississippi State has never played the RedHawks. Miami started the season 0-6, but has won six straight to finish 6-6 and reach a bowl game.

The Bulldogs have gone 4-2 during their streak of bowl games. The St. Petersburg Bowl will be Mullen’s seventh bowl appearance, the most by any coach in Mississippi State history.

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