Dan Mullen: Identifying His Top 10 Wins at Mississippi State

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Sep 12, 2015; Starkville, MS, USA; A Mississippi State Bulldogs helmet sits on an equipment cart during the game against the LSU Tigers at Davis Wade Stadium. LSU defeated Mississippi State 21-19. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Number 5: 2011 Gator Bowl Versus Michigan

The 2010 season was a resounding success for Dan Mullen and Mississippi State. They finished the season with 8 wins, and most thought the Bulldogs would be doing good to get to 7. The Bulldogs were rewarded with a trip to their first New Year’s Day Bowl Game since the 1998 season where they would take on the Michigan Wolverines.

The setup
The Gator Bowl was icing on the cake for the Bulldogs. They had already exceeded many people’s expectations, but a win over a blue blood program like Michigan could go a long way toward keeping some of the momentum created during the season going into 2011.

Michigan entered reeling at 7-5. There were rumors circulating that if Michigan Head Football Coach Rich Rodriguez didn’t win this game, he would likely be fired. While Mississippi State was the favorite entering the game, many thought the Wolverines could pull out a win because of their dynamic quarterback Denard Robinson.

The result
The game was back and forth between the Bulldogs and Wolverines in the first quarter. A late Michigan touchdown to close the quarter would put the Wolverines up 14-10. After that, it was all Mississippi State.

Chris Relf had arguably his most impressive game as a passer for the Bulldogs in this game. He completed 18 of 23 attempts for 281 yards, three touchdowns and just one interception.

On the other side of the ball, Mississippi State locked the Wolverines down and held Michigan scoreless over the final three periods of the game. It gave Mississippi State 9 wins on the season and Rich Rodriguez would eventually be let go as head coach.

Next: Stopping a road losing streak