Wednesday Bulldog Update - 12/11/13

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Happy Wednesday, everyone. To our students of both the standard and athlete variety, we all wish you luck during finals this week and hope your brains remember all they have learned over the course of the semester.

Perhaps the idea of Christmas at home and New Years Eve in Memphis will be enough to get you through.

On behalf of everyone at Mississippi State, I thank the Liberty Bowl and Executive Director Steve Erhart for inviting us back. The Bulldogs’ return to Memphis is significant in several ways, the most compelling being the 50th anniversary of the 1963 Liberty Bowl. The bowl had only been around for a handful of years when MSU was selected to play that winter and it was the very last one to be played in the original host site of Philadelphia, Pa, the home of the Liberty Bell, whose shape the Liberty Bowl trophy now takes.

Just this season at Homecoming, as many of you may recall, we honored that 1963 team on their victory and achievement 50 years ago.

This trip itself will make Bulldog history, too, as it is our fourth-straight bowl appearance, an impressive feat and one that certainly stands out in the record books. I’m particularly proud of this accomplishment and Coach Mullen and his staff deserve credit for the way they’ve built the Bulldog Football program. I often say I want us to have a steady upward trend, like a trustworthy stock, rather than spiking up and down. The consistency of success this streak shows is a testament to where we’ve come.

Additionally, this is our first appearance in the Liberty Bowl since 2007, a defensive showdown State won in its first bowl appearance in some time.

Those in Memphis remember the game well, not just for it’s tight outcome, but for the 50,000-plus Bulldog fans who overtook the city and stadium that day. From conversations with Liberty Bowl executives, I know that showing (and others we’ve made at bowl sites since) was a big part of why they were so excited to invite us this year.

With the proximity and ease of travel for most fans of the Maroon and White, I imagine we’ll once again paint the town with our own colors and make Memphis, at least for a short period, the northernmost city in Mississippi.

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Firstly, I want to thank you for the interest shown so quickly, as we’ve already gone through our initial allotment of 10,000 Liberty Bowl tickets. Based on pre-sales (and history), we expected we would need more and already have another 6,000 in stock. Visit to purchase yours, which make fine Christmas gifts, I might add. I should also remind members that each ticket earns one Bulldog Club point, a valuable commodity as Davis Wade Stadium nears the finish point on expansion and renovation.

And of course, we can’t mention Memphis without talking about great food. Also available through our ticket office are tickets to the pre-game buffet. Put on by the Liberty Bowl and Pig-N-Whistle, it’s an indoor, all-you-can-eat-and-drink party on the day of the game starting at 11:30 a.m., featuring live music and performances by both the MSU and Rice bands. Referred to as “one of the largest and most enjoyable pre-game parties in the nation,” it’s a great spot for Bulldog fans to gather and enjoy themselves before the game for only $35.

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Annually, we like to play at least one game in the state outside of Starkville to offer fans in different parts of Mississippi an accessible “home” game, and we’re excited to be in Tupelo this year at the BancorpSouth Arena. Coach Ray’s team plays Southeastern Louisiana at 7 p.m. Friday night, while he and the players will do an autograph session in the west lobby of the arena at 6 p.m. on Thursday night, so make sure and stop by if you’re in the Tupelo area either evening.

The Bulldogs return to The Hump next Tuesday and Thursday, once finals and graduation have finished, hosting Florida A&M and Florida Gulf Coast, respectively.

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On Saturday evening, Coach Schaefer’s 9-1 Bulldogs will have our first action on campus in a week, hosting Southern Miss at 7 in what should be a fun in-state battle. This team has been fun to watch to this point in the season, both offensively and defensively, as they’ve scored over 70 points in nine of 10 games, while holding opponents to 52 or less total points in seven of those contests.

I look forward to seeing everyone both in Tupelo and Starkville this weekend for what ought to be a fun couple days of basketball.

* * *

As the semester comes to a close, I offer a very big congratulations to everyone graduating this weekend, including so many of our student-athletes. The education of young minds is the most important thing we do at Mississippi State and I’m extremely proud of all who made it this far as they take the next big step along their life paths.

Oh, and don’t forget to wear Maroon this Friday!

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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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