The Mississippi State football team will play the Illinois Fighting Illini in the ReliaQuest Bowl on January 2nd at 11:00 a.m. CT/12:00 p.m. ET.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs finished the season 8-4 with wins over Memphis, Arizona, Bowling Green, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Auburn, East Tennessee State, and Ole Miss. The Bulldogs’ four losses were vs. LSU, Kentucky, Alabama, and Georgia.
The Illinois Fighting Illini also finished the year 8-4. The Fighting Illini found their wins vs. Wyoming, Virginia, Chattanooga, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Northwestern. Their losses were vs. Indiana, Michigan State, Purdue, and Michigan.
Both teams are looking to finish the season with a ReliaQuest Bowl trophy and nine wins in the 2022 college football season.
Here are a few notes to get you ready for Monday’s ReliaQuest Bowl matchup between the Bulldogs and Fighting Illini.
This will be the Mississippi State football team’s 13th straight bowl game.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs have not missed a bowl game since 2009. The Bulldogs have won 7 of the last 12 bowl games they have appeared in.
This will only be the third meeting between the Bulldogs and Fighting Illini.
Mississippi State’s record against the Illinois Fighting Illini is 1-1. These two teams first met in the year 1923, when the Fighting Illini won 27-0. They met again in 1980, and the Bulldogs got revenge after nearly 50 years of not playing each other. The Bulldogs defeated the Fighting Illini in 1980 by a score of 28-21.
Both teams are looking for their ninth win.
Bowl games can sometimes be seen as pointless when players are opting out, transferring, and entering the NFL draft. The one thing that bowl games do for college football programs is provide momentum for the next season. These two teams, the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Illinois Fighting Illini are fighting for momentum going into the 2023 college football season. One team will leave Tampa with more momentum than the other.