The Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons both slip into the 2011 Music City Bowl with 6-6 records. The Demon Deacons have a hot start to thank for their bowl bid, going 5-2 with a win over Florida State to begin the season, allowing them to go 1-4 the rest of the way in a middling ACC conference. The Bulldogs' six losses, meanwhile, came against SEC teams all currently ranked in the BCS Top 25. It is no surprise, then, that Mississippi State enters the game as touchdown favorites.
Sophomore quarterback Tanner Price has been the lynchpin in Wake Forest's finer moments this season. Against the Seminoles he threw for 233 yards and three touchdowns to zero interceptions. He added another three-touchdown performance to his repertoire in a blowout win over Maryland late in the season. Price has had little help from a running game that ranks just 96th in the FBS averaging 119 yards per game.
Unfortunately for the Demon Deacons, they face a Bulldog defense that ranks 18th in the country giving up just under 20 points per game. Price will have to be sharp against a pass defense that is giving up less than 195 yards per game through the air. A stout defensive front is led by Fletcher Cox, who finished with 12.5 tackles for loss and four sacks in SEC play.
Game date, time: 6:40 p.m. ET, Friday, December 30
Location: LP Field, Nashville, TN
TV channel: ESPN/ESPN3
Odds: Mississippi favored by 7 points
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