MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Mississippi State ended the year and its 2013 season and year with a fitting celebration Tuesday, ousting the Rice Owls 44-7 to claim victory in the 55th AutoZone Liberty Bowl. The margin of victory was the largest in any bowl game played thus far in 2013.
With the win, the Bulldogs secured their fourth-straight winning season and Dan Mullen earned the record for most bowl wins by any MSU coach ever, now 3-1 in four bowl appearances in his five seasons as the Bulldog mentor.
State dominated the game on both sides of the ball, with the defense holding Rice’s top-15 national rushing attack to only 61 yards on the ground in the game while the Bulldog offense racked up 533 total yards on the other side of the ball.
After the Owls took an early 7-0 lead, the Bulldogs went on to score 44 unanswered points in the convincing win. Five different State players scored touchdowns in the contest.
State set school and Liberty Bowl records in the game. Sophomore quarterback Dak Prescott accounted for five touchdowns responsible for (a Liberty Bowl record) while throwing for 283 yards and three scores and rushing for two others. Junior receiver Jameon Lewis set the all-time MSU record for receiving yards in any game - regular or post season - with 220 yards on nine catches.
MSU ended 2013 on a flurry, winning consecutive overtime games at Arkansas and against arch rival Ole Miss at home to become bowl eligible and vault itself into Tuesday's contest in Memphis.
The Bulldogs will open the 2014 campaign on August 30 , hosting in-state foe Southern Miss in the newly-expanded Davis Wade Stadium.