USA TODAY Sports
The No. 20 Northwestern Wildcats look to break a 60-plus year bowl drought, while Mississippi State tries to win a bowl game for the third straight year in the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl.
The team with the nation's longest bowl winning streak takes on the team with the nation's longest bowl losing streak, as the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the No. 20 Northwestern Wildcats meet in the Gator Bowl, 2013's first college football game.
For Northwestern, the game could be one of the biggest in school history if they win it. The Wildcats haven't won a bowl game since 1949, but not for lack of trying. They've lost nine straight bowl games since the 1996 Rose Bowl, including one each of the last four seasons. That gives them not only the longest losing streak in college football based on time elapsed, but also the most consecutive losses. The win would also be the 50th of Pat Fitzgerald's career, which would put him by himself in first place as the winningest coach in Northwestern history, as well as the tenth of NU's season, only the third time the school has done that. Kain Colter and Venric Mark are the stars of the spread offense for Northwestern, with Colter completing 68 percent of his passes while Mark ran for 1,310 yards this season.
Mississippi State might have less wins and enter the game unranked, but they're actually the favorites in this game. Johnthan Banks was the nation's best cornerback and Tyler Russell connected with Chad Bumphis 55 times, but the Bulldogs closed the season with losses in four of their five final games after starting the year 7-0. They couldn't handle the distressingly tough SEC, losing three straight to ranked opponents before dropping the season finale Egg Bowl to Ole Miss. MSU has won five straight bowl appearances dating back to 1999.
Mississippi State blog For Whom the Cowbell Tolls rejoiced that the Gator Bowl will allow fans to bring cowbells, as they did two years ago in a Bulldog victory, while Northwestern blog Sippin' on Purple wrote on the importance of the Gator Bowl for the Northwestern.
Here's the info on how to catch the game:
Game date and time
Noon ET, Jan. 1
Everbank Field, Jacksonville, Fla.
Mississippi State opened as 2 1/2-point favorites
Last year’s game
Florida, 24, Ohio State, 17
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