TV Schedule: Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Stadium: Bank of America Stadium
Line: Mississippi State (-5.5)
Coming off a season in which the Mississippi State Bulldogs received a ton of hype, and even competed for a spot in the College Football Playoff, things didn’t exactly go down the same way in the 2015 season.
The Bulldogs lost a game right away against the LSU Tigers (only a two-point loss), and then the hype meter kind of died out. That said, Mississippi State did end up with an 8-4 record overall and a 4-4 record in the brutal SEC.
The NC State Wolfpack got off to a fast 4-0 start … and then the competition started to pick up quite a bit. In the end, NC State finished with a 7-5 record overall and just a 3-5 record in the tough ACC.
Of course, these two squads will meet up in the Belk Bowl.
Mississippi State might have lost plenty of meaningful games in 2015, but it did manage to knock off the Auburn Tigers and Arkansas Razorbacks along the way. The Bulldogs’ losses came against LSU, Texas A&M, Alabama and Ole Miss (aka no bad losses on the schedule).
Giving NC State the spotlight, its best win — which isn’t too great of a win — came against the Syracuse Orange. The Wolfpack’s losses came against Louisville, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Florida State and North Carolina.
Two major players to watch out for in this game: NC State QB Jacoby Brissett and Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott. Both players can beat opposing teams with their arm and legs, and Prescott competed for the Heisman once again this season — well, sort of.
Neither team blew the college football world away in 2015, but it is hard to go against the Bulldogs when you look at their line of work compared to NC State’s. Plus, Prescott is a beast.
PREDICTION: Wolfpack 27, Bulldogs 35