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Football game week is finally here! As you know, our Bulldogs take on Southern Miss in Hattiesburg this weekend. After eight months of anticipation, Coach Mullen and the team will be on the field Saturday night kicking off another exciting season of Mississippi State football.
The game begins at 9 p.m. central and will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1. I expect to see a large contingent of Bulldogs. For those who haven’t yet purchased tickets, I understand that they are still available (you can buy here).
Also, the Alumni Association is hosting a tailgate for the Maroon and White-clad fans in town Saturday evening from 6-8 p.m. next to the Payne Center on USM’s campus, just northwest of M. M. Roberts Stadium. For more information on how to get around campus and on gameday policies, please visit USM’s gameday page here.
And one reminder before the weekend: Dawg Talk with Dan Mullen starts back this Thursday at 7 p.m. at The DawgHouse Sports Grill on Main Street in Starkville. Make plans to tune in or join us there.
PERSONAL WORD OF THANKS TO BULLDOGS
As we embark on another football season, I’d like to commend you, our loyal Bulldog fans, on the important role you’ve played in helping build our athletic department into one that can sustain consistent success across all of our 16 sports.
Consider these numbers: in 2007, there were 5,700 Bulldog Club members. Today, Bulldog Club membership exceeds 12,000! In 2008, coming off a season that saw eight wins and a Liberty Bowl win, MSU sold 37,620 season tickets. This year, we’ve exceeded 50,000 in season tickets sales for the first time in school history. (As of this morning, the ticket office had less than 100 season tickets left for sale.)
In addition to providing resources that allow our students and coaches to compete at a high level, the support you’ve given has turned Davis Wade Stadium into one of the loudest, most-difficult places for visiting teams to play and given the Bulldogs a great home field advantage.
Additionally, I’m not sure how many fan bases could collectively manage the cowbell usage as well as ours has. We will discuss this more in next week’s email heading into our home opener against LSU, but your willingness to “Ring Responsibly” has shown a unity and pride that embodies what Mississippi State is all about. Plus, as referenced above, you’ve done it in a way that continues to make Davis Wade a raucous place to play.
Well done, Bulldogs. Well done.
VOLLEYBALL, SOCCER AT HOME THIS WEEKEND
A hearty congratulations to Coach David McFatrich for a 3-1 start to his first season at MSU, taking three matches in the Bulldog Invitational last weekend.
Volleyball is home again this weekend, and our soccer team returns home after a weekend trip to Florida. Volleyball hosts Stetson on Friday at 7 p.m., Mississippi Valley State on Saturday at noon and Chattanooga on Saturday night at 7. All three matches will be broadcast on SEC Network+ as part of the Maroon Classic.
Soccer hosts Nicholls State Friday at 7 p.m. as part of Bully’s Kids Club Night, then return on Sunday to play host to Southern Miss at 6 p.m. Both matches will be broadcast on SEC Network+, as well, and I hope you can join us in Starkville to see the Bulldogs play.
HAILSTATE REWARDS FOR STUDENTS
We are now over 11,000 HailState Rewards members after a big boost from the early access to student season football tickets. HSR is our student rewards program which allows current students to build credit toward Bulldog Club membership after they graduate, simply by attending our athletic events throughout the year.
A cool new wrinkle to it this year is the debut of iBeacons, which will track when members get to games and matches, as well as how long they stay, offering more points for early arrival and for staying the entire time. All students have to do is download the app and turn Bluetooth on their phones when coming to events.
For more information on HailState Rewards, visit www.hailstate.com/rewards.
NEW TAILGATING OPTION ON CAMPUS
With our home opener just over one week away, this is a great time to share that we will have even more possibilities for those who want to tailgate on campus before games this year.
We're happy to announce that Tailgater Concierge is now one of Mississippi State's preferred tailgate providers. Tailgater Concierge is a service available at many schools throughout the U.S., specializing in one-stop, hassle-free tailgating.
They provide the tents, tables, chairs and ice, and they also coordinate all food you need for the day.
Tailgater Concierge will have the tailgate area just south of The Junction and Davis Wade Stadium in the old intramural fields. If you’re interested in their services, visit their website at www.tailgaterconcierge.com.
NEW ASSISTANT AD FOR ACADEMICS NAMED
Last week we announced that Christine Jackson is our new Assistant Athletic Director for Academics. Christine comes to MSU from Louisville, where she served as Director of Student Services, and will oversee the Templeton Athletic Academic Center.
Christine, who has over 15 years experience in the field of athletic academics, and her husband Richard have three sons: Trey, Reese and Rashawn.
Last year, Bulldog athletes compiled a cumulative 3.0 GPA for the first time in our department’s history. In order to insure integrity in the academic pursuits of our athletes, the Athletic Academic Center reports directly to MSU Provost Jerry Gilbert, with a “dotted-line” report to MSU Athletics. This structure allows the Center’s 14 full-time staff members to focus on our 350-plus student-athletes’ academics while maintaining appropriate relationships with faculty.
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.