2016 St. Petersburg Bowl: Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Miami (Ohio)
Okay, let’s be fully transparent here. Mississippi State needed a miracle to keep its bowl appearance streak alive in 2016 and thankfully the Bulldogs got that. There weren’t enough bowl eligible teams and so State (at 5-7) got to go bowling because the Bulldogs had a high enough APR (enough kids went to class and graduated, basically).
In the first year after Dak Prescott, the Bulldogs started slowly. Nick Fitzgerald ended up winning the starting quarterback gig, but it took some time for MSU to get him an offense he could settle into and be comfortable with.
Shoutout to #AlwaysRunNeverPass.
And Fitz thrived. The Bulldogs did well. They weren’t perfect, they won five games, but they made it to a bowl game where they got matched up with Miami (Ohio). And on December 26, 2016 in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, the Bulldogs faced Miami.
And this bowl game was a mess.
The Bulldogs got off to a horrendous start. MSU found itself down 9-0 early on and State simply couldn’t generate any sort of offense. Right before the half ended, Fitzgerald ran for a touchdown and started getting MSU some momentum.
State ended up claiming a 17-16 lead in the fourth quarter, but Miami (Ohio) marched down the field and was set to kick a field goal to win the game. Thankfully, Nelson Adams was able to get ahold of the ball and blocked the kick to give MSU a 17-16 win.