For the 9th consecutive season, Mississippi State is headed to a bowl game.
After an 8-4 regular season that was capped by an Egg Bowl victory, the #18 Bulldogs were selected to take on Iowa in the Outback Bowl in Tampa on New’s Year Day at 11 a.m.
This may be a low scoring affair as both teams consider their defenses to be their strength. The Bulldogs have the nation’s 3rd ranked defense and the Hawkeyes are ranked 9th. For Mississippi State, Jeffrey Simmons and Montez Sweat have set the tone on the D-line all season long, and the bowl game will be no different against an Iowa offense that has struggled against tougher competition.
Iowa didn’t beat a ranked opponent all season long after falling to #18 Wisconsin and #17 Penn State. The Hawkeyes’ biggest threat on offense is TE Noah Fant, and the Bulldogs catch a break with his decision to skip the bowl game to prepare for the NFL Draft.
Joe Moorhead becomes just the second Bulldog head coach to reach a bowl game in his first season.
“I am thrilled for our team and our tremendous group of seniors who have earned the opportunity to go out with a New Year’s Day bowl in the state of Florida,” Moorhead said. “The Outback Bowl is the perfect destination for our team. I have always had tremendous respect for Coach Ferentz and his Iowa teams.”
AD John Cohen was proud of the team’s resilience throughout the ups and downs of the 2018 season and wants MSU fans to fill Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
“This team featured college football’s best defense and demonstrated overall improvement throughout the year, as shown by winning four of its last five games, including a dominant win in a rivalry game to finish the regular season,” Cohen said. “Tampa is a great city, with an endless number of entertainment opportunities for our fans, and we always look forward to playing in an NFL stadium. I encourage our Bulldog family to pack Raymond James Stadium and send our seniors out the right way.”
When the game kicks off at 11:00 a.m., it will be the first meeting between Iowa and MSU.