The 14th annual Music City Bowl is Friday, December. 30 with kickoff scheduled for 6:40 p.m. EST at LP Field in Nashville. The game will be televised live on ESPN.
The 2011 game will mark the sixth consecutive Bowl matchup between the ACC and SEC in Nashville. Last year, the University of North Carolina defeated the University of Tennessee 30-27 in a double-overtime thriller.
Dan Mullen is in his third year at Mississippi State and he has led the team to consecutive bowl games for the first time since the school went to three straight bowls from 1998-2000 under Jackie Sherrill when the team went 26-11 during that stretch.
This marks Mississippi State’s 15th bowl appearance overall (8-6) and their first in Nashville.
The Bulldogs ranked third in the SEC in red zone defense, fourth in turnover margin and fourth in red zone offense. Senior running back Vick Ballard led the rushing attack, finishing this season fourth in the SEC with 1,009 yards. Junior linebacker Cameron Lawrence led the Bulldogs defense this season, ranking third in the SEC with 114 tackles.
The Demon Deacons are led on defense by redshirt freshman cornerback Merrill Noel, who was named ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year after leading the nation in passes defended this year. Wake Forest had five players named to the All-ACC football team: wide receiver Chris Givens and safety Josh Bush were both first team All-ACC selections, offensive guard Joe Looney and nose tackle Nikita Whitlock were second team selections and Noel was an honorable mention choice.
The Congrove Computer Rankings project Mississippi State as an 11.36-point winner for the fifth-widest predicted outcome of the 35 postseason games.