Mississippi St. Bulldogs vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons and the Mississippi State Bulldogs meet in Nashville as they face off in the Music City Bowl. The Bulldogs are -6.5 point favorites over the Demon Deacons with an over/under point total set at 47.5.
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons lost four of their last five games as they hit their post season but Jim Grobe’s team looks to put that all in the past for four quarters of football in Nashville. Wake Forest has defeated two bowl teams this year along with a three point loss to Clemson and a seven point loss to Notre Dame. Tanner Price has put up decent numbers this season completing 60.9 percent of his passes with 20 touchdowns and six interceptions. Brandon Pendergrass is averaging 4.6 yards per carry with eight touchdowns and 750 total yards. Chris Givens has 74 catches for 1,276 yards and nine touchdowns and Michael Campanaro has 63 catches as part of a Wake offense which has been able to put up points and yards. Defensively Wake Forest has 11 interceptions, six fumble recoveries, and 10 sacks while they allow 27.8 points and 399.1 yards per game. Cyhl Quarles has 96 tackles, Kyle Wilber has 65 tackles and 3.5 sacks, and Josh Bush has six interceptions. At times Wake looked to be their own worst enemy and they will have a tough enough time with their opponent here that they can’t afford to beat themselves.
The expectations for the Mississippi State Bulldogs were sky high heading into the year coming off of their New Year’s Day beat down of Michigan but the Bulldogs had bounces go against them and they simply didn’t live up to expectations needing to win their final game of the season to become bowl eligible. Dan Mullen was seen as an offensive genius in his days at Florida but the Mississippi State offense sputtered for most of this season. Tyler Russell supplanted Chris Relf as the starting QB after Relf had been touted a candidate for post season awards but Russell completed just 53.5 percent of his passes with eight touchdowns and four interceptions. Vick Ballard is an NFL quality running back averaging 5.6 yards per carry running against SEC defenses while scoring eight touchdowns and also catching 18 passes. Chris Smith has 30 catches, Arceto Clark has 28 catches, and Chad Bumphis has 24 catches but the passing game just wasn’t very effective overall. Defensively MSU had 12 interceptions, eight fumble recoveries, and 21 sacks and they allowed 19.9 points and 355.9 yards per game. Cam Lawrence has 114 tackles, and Charles Mitchell and Brandon Wilson each have 92 tackles. Mississippi State beat just one bowl team all season beating Louisiana Tech in overtime back in September.
Wake Forest is 4-1 against the spread in their last five bowl games, 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games as an underdog, and 5-1 against the spread following a loss. Mississippi State is 4-0 against the spread in their last four Bowl games, 5-1 against the spread in their last six games overall, and 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 games as a favorite.
The total in this one is up to 47.5 but I still see some room for the over to come in though it may be getting to the higher end of the range but for my pick the over is the play.