Wednesday Bulldog Update - 11/26/14

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Good morning, Bulldogs, and happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you’re all able to enjoy some time at home with family and food this week, as we all prepare for the most important football game of the season, this Saturday’s 111th Egg Bowl.

This is always one of the more impassioned weeks of football in the state, to say the least, but it’s important to find a moment to take it all in and enjoy the moment outside of rivalry. This has been a marquee year for the state of Mississippi on the gridiron, and whether you cheer for Mississippi State or Ole Miss, it’s something we should all be proud to be a part of. The level of attention we have received is unprecedented, and it has come as our Bulldogs took the No. 1 spot in the country for the first time ever, came out on top in the first ever College Football Playoff rankings and remain in contention for the first National Championship in the new era of college football.

On a personal note, this will be the 24th time I’ve attended the Battle for the Golden Egg. My first was in 1980, a 19-14 Bulldog win on a rainy day in Jackson. That started a streak of 13-straight Bulldog-Rebel games I witnessed (1980-92). During my 15 years in the college athletics wilderness (i.e. away from MSU from 1993-07) I was only able to make it back to my home state for four Egg Bowls. However, I have great memories of following the rivalry game and celebrating Bulldog victories while watching on TV in places such as Waco, Texas, and Lexington, Ky.

I don’t know that any sporting event I’ve ever attended provided the pure elation that last season’s dramatic overtime Egg Bowl win gave all of us wearing Maroon and White. Not only did it clinch a fourth-consecutive bowl berth, but it also propelled the Bulldogs into this magical season we’ve enjoyed.

For those of you traveling to Oxford for the game, I encourage you to show good sportsmanship in what promises to be an emotional environment. Let’s support our Bulldogs, but at the same time be gracious guests.

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I should start by congratulating Coach Schaefer and the nationally-ranked women’s basketball team for winning the preseason WNIT, the first SEC team to pull off the feat since 1999! Our Bulldogs won their first four games of the season, all of them by double-digits, to claim the championship and cut down the nets in The Hump on Sunday. As a reward for their great start, our women’s basketball team found itself ranked at No. 25 in the latest AP poll.

And speaking of undefeated starts, Coach Ray’s men’s team also sports an unblemished record, sitting at 4-0. Their win over Utah State last Saturday afternoon before the football game was a big one and the difference in this team is quite clear with a full roster of talented players.

Our men are back in action Friday against St. Louis in the Corpus Christi Classic in Texas on CBS Sports Network (8:30 p.m. CT), while our women travel to play New Orleans on Saturday.

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1. A big, big congratulations goes out to Rhianwedd Price and the cross country team after she advanced all the way to Nationals and finished in the Top 25, earning her All-American honors. Rhianwedd is only our second All-American ever in cross country and the first in over 20 years.

2. Good luck to our volleyball team as the squad plays its final home game of the season tonight at 7 against Texas A&M (broadcast on SEC Network+).

3. Job well done to football players Dak Prescott and Ben Beckwith, both of whom are having a good week. Dak was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week and a finalist for the Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award and the Conerly Trophy, while Ben was named the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week and a finalist for the Burlsworth Trophy, an award given annually to the top college player who began their career as a walk on. I encourage you to vote for both Bulldogs daily to win their respective awards:

Vote for Dak

Vote for Ben

4. Congratulations, as well, to Victoria Vivians, who was named the SEC Freshman of the Week for women’s basketball and earned tournament MVP honors in the WNIT.

* * *

We appreciate what you do for Mississippi State Athletics and want to encourage you to get others involved.  There are three things you can do to help the athletic department at Mississippi State reach its desired goals –

1.  Buy Season Tickets

2.  Financially Support the Bulldog Club

3.  Get Others To Do The Same

Thanks for taking the time to read this Update.   

Hail State!

Scott Stricklin



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