STARKVILLE, Miss. – When the sun rises on Houston Saturday morning, a long offseason will come to a close as a sea of Maroon and White invades the state’s largest city to signify the beginning of Mississippi State’s football campaign. With the nation watching, the Mississippi State Bulldogs will battle the 13th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys at Reliant Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Houston Texans.
GENERAL GAME INFO
Kickoff is set for 2:35 p.m. CT on ABC and ESPN 2. Those unable to make it to Houston or catch the game on television can hear Jim Ellis, Matt Wyatt and John Correro call the action on the Mississippi State Radio Network and through satellite radio via XM Radio (channel 91 & 139).
Saturday will showcase a battle of teams from two of the nation’s power conferences. The Bulldogs will showcase an experienced offense and a skilled front seven against a high-powered Cowboys squad that will look to score early and often.
For the Bulldogs, senior Maxwell Award Watch List quarterback Tyler Russell will lead the offensive charge. In his previous three season openers, Russell is 33-of-49 passing for 579 yards, with seven touchdowns and no interceptions. Defensively, senior defensive lineman Denico Autry, a Senior Bowl Watch List member, and sophomore Bednarik Award Watch List linebacker Benardrick McKinney will lead an MSU front seven that returns six juniors and seniors for the 2013 season.
In the last meeting between the Bulldogs and Cowboys, MSU downed the Cowboys 29-11 in 1999, exacting revenge for 19-point loss the prior season. The Bulldogs went into the half with a 19-3 lead thanks to a Matt Wyatt touchdown pass and a 54-yard TD scamper by freshman Dontae Walker. After an early fourth quarter field goal by MSU kicker Scott Westerfield, Oklahoma State capitalized on one of the game’s twelve turnovers with a 46-yard interception return for touchdown. However, a 52-yard touchdown pass from Wayne Madkin to Justin Griffith with just under seven minutes remaining put the game firmly in State’s hands.
After Saturday’s season opener, MSU will host the Alcorn State Braves for the home opener of the 2013 season. The game is set to kickoff at 2:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on CSS and the Mississippi State Radio Network.