2011 Music City Bowl: MSU Bulldogs battle the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in Nashville
In Dan Mullen’s third year with the Mississippi State football team, the Bulldogs took a bit of a step back from the highs of the 2010 season. MSU was still better than it historically had been, but State probably underachieved a bit (partially due to some injury issues and depth issues).
But MSU was back in a bowl game and for the Bulldogs (especially at this time), that’s big.
It had been over a decade since Mississippi State managed to get to back-to-back bowl games, so simply getting to the Music City Bowl was something to celebrate for Mississippi State football fans who had seen so many years of frustrating regular season losses that prevented postseason play.
And on December 30, 2011, at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee, Mississippi State relied on senior leadership to overcome the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Vick Ballard and Chris Relf, as they had done in so many games throughout their careers, ran the ball and then ran it some more.
And it worked pretty well for MSU.
Ballard had a remarkable game in which he ripped off a 60-yard run for a touchdown in the first quarter and then later took off for a 72-yard run in the fourth quarter to help put the game out of reach.
Relf wasn’t perfect, but he did enough to help MSU grind out a 23-17 win over the Demon Deacons.
And though the Bulldogs hadn’t exactly participated in a ton of bowl games in the 2000’s, with this win, State had won all five of the last five bowl games it participated in. And that’s certainly something to celebrate.