December 30, 2011

Dogs overcome mistakes in bowl win

NASHVILLE, Tenn., - Mississippi State did not catch or create many breaks for themselves Friday night against Wake Forest.

In fact, he Bulldogs turned the ball over four times but found a way to nurse a 23-17 victory in the Music City Bowl for their first back-to-back bowl victories in consecutive seasons in over a decade.

"Very rarely are you going to have a minus-four turnover ratio and win the game," said MSU head coach Dan Mullen. "We were at times finding ways to lose the game tonight. I think it was a great learning experience for these guys. Even though we started slow and made a bunch of silly mistakes, no one panicked and no one got worried. Everyone just stuck to the game plan and did their job and found a way to come home with a win."

MSU's backs fumbled twice and Chris Relf tossed up two interceptions but overcame the mistakes thanks in part to Vick Ballard's career-high 180 yards and two touchdown runs. Ballard scored on scampers of 60 and 72-yards in his final game as a Bulldog.

"It is big for the team and for Mississippi State University," Ballard said. "We go out with a winning season and win a big bowl game."

In all State accumulated 382 yards on the night including 253 on the ground and secured a winning season at 7-6.

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