GAINESVILLE FL - OCTOBER 16: Defensive back Dennis Thames #12 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs celebrates a 10 - 7 victory against the Florida Gators October 16 2010 Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Gainesville Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
It is just under 12 hours until Mississippi State and UAB face-off in Starkville. A lot is on the line for the Bulldogs. Can they keep up the momentum after the big win over Florida on the road? Can they reach bowl eligibility?
A win today allows the team to carry even more momentum into their final stretch of SEC play, starting with Kentucky at home next weekend.
UAB will bring their best effort. This is a team whose record is not really indicative of their season. They are 2-4, but those 4 losses include a double overtime loss to Tennessee, on the road in Knoxville. it is clear that they can handle hostile environments, and they will without a doubt get that this weekend in Starkville. Mississippi State announced that the UAB game will be the 8th straight home sellout. Combine that with the homecoming atmosphere, the big win at Florida last week, and the chance to earn a bowl bid, and Scott Field will be rocking and ringing tonight.
We are about to hit the road, westbound and down for the Alma Mater. We will have an in-game open thread open up about 15 mintues before kick-off. In the meantime, enjoy some game day linkage after the jump.
The Clarion Ledger sets up today's game for us, and gives us a run down of the big questions for both teams.
Brad Locke thinks this is the time for the Bulldogs to prove themselves worthy of the #24 ranking.
Lock also talked to UAB's Pat Shed, who grew up in Starkville, but not as an MSU fan.
Dan Mullen told the MSU Reflector that he is ready for a tougher game this week (compared to Florida on the road). Staying focused is the teams number one priority.
"Were coming off of a little bit of success that we're having right now, and one important thing for our progam is keep our focus on what got us here which is, you know, the hard work that all of our players have put in up to this point," Mullen said. "That has to be our number one focus this week."
Fellow SBNation blog Team Speed Kills says that Dan Mullen is the SEC Coach of Mid-Season.
Mississippi State is a game away from bowl eligibility, is ranked for the first time in almost ten years, and has scored more than 40 points three times already. For a team that was little short of moribund two seasons ago, that's exceptional.