The ACC and the SEC meet up in a slew of bowl games over the course of the year, and the Music City Bowl is no exception. The Wake Forest Demon Deacons will take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs in Nashville, and we are set to make our Music City Bowl picks for the game on the 30th.
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Music City Bowl Matchup: Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Music City Bowl Date/Time: Friday, December 30th, 6:40 ET
Music City Bowl Location: LP Field, Nashville, TN
Music City Bowl Odds: Mississippi State -6.5
Music City Bowl Total: 48
Music City Bowl TV Coverage: ESPN, ESPN3.com
The Demon Deacons have to be shaking their head about this matchup. They probably ended up playing a terrible game at the end of the year at home against the Vanderbilt Commodores, a 41-7 defeat. The Bulldogs did go just 6-6 this year, but take a look at the six losses… @ Auburn, vs. LSU, @ Georgia, vs. South Carolina, vs. Alabama, @ Arkansas. Yikes! That’s a murderer’s row of games, and aside from that, MSU was an undefeated team that played tremendous football.
What we are probably going to see in this one is a heck of a lot of defense and some sloppy offense. Mississippi State, thanks to the fact that it played such a terrible schedule, ranked No. 87 in the country at 355.1 yards per game, and No. 73 in scoring at 25.5 points per game. Wake Forest averaged just 374.5 yards per game, No. 76 in the land, and 26.8 points per game, No. 61 against a significantly easier schedule.
Running backs are going to be used quite a bit in this one. For Mississippi State, the ball will be put in the hands of RB Vick Ballard and RB LaDarius Perkins. These two rumbled 260 times over the course of the year, and they combined for over 1,400 yards and 10 TDs. The offense isn’t quite as much predicated on the run as it was last year, though neither QB Chris Relf nor QB Tyler Russell were really all that efficient. Neither one threw for even 1,100 yards on the season, though both took a ton of snaps in doing so. Though Wake Forest ranked No. 96 in the country on the ground, RB Brandon Pendergrass will certainly be a factor in the offense. He had 750 yards on the ground this year, and he could really have a big time impact on this game by the time it is said and done with.
If there is a shot for Wake Forest to do some damage in this game, it is going to be WR Chris Givens that has to do the work. He averaged over 17 yards per reception this year, and he always has the ability to break free and put together a big time play. Though Mississippi State was prone to the big play this year, it has a defense that really was able to shut down the majority of plays. QB Tanner Price is going to have to put together a great game, and after seeing Vandy run right through the Deacs in Nashville, we just don’t see how the Demon Deacons are going to be able to compete in this one. Quite honestly, we would have rather seen the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in this game. MSU was able to beat the snot out of the Michigan Wolverines last year in the Gator Bowl, and this is a significantly easier game than that.
Free Music City Bowl Pick: Mississippi State -6.5
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