Music City Bowl picks Mississippi St., Wake Forest

Updated: December 4, 2011, 10:31 PM ET
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Mississippi State and Wake Forest will meet for the first time in history in the Dec. 30 Music City Bowl.

It's the first trip for both teams to the game played at the NFL Tennessee Titans' LP Field.

Mississippi State (6-6), which has already sold out its ticket allotment to the game, is trying to salvage a disappointing season. The Bulldogs rose as high as No. 16 in September before a string of losses dropped them to near the bottom of the Southeastern Conference's West Division.

They're making their second consecutive bowl appearance after getting a third straight win over rival Mississippi in the Egg Bowl. The Bulldogs haven't been to back-to-back bowls since reaching three in a row from 1998-2000.

"Making it to a bowl game two years in a row, I think recruits see the direction we're going," coach Dan Mullen said. "Bulldog fans travel and we're going to have a lot of support. When recruits turn on the TV and see an NFL stadium filled with maroon it's a good thing."

Wake Forest (6-6) finished tied for second in the Atlantic Coast Conference's Atlantic Division. The Demon Deacons defeated Florida State and nearly upset eventual ACC champion Clemson, which needed a 43-yard field goal as time expired to win.

Wake Forest is making its 10th bowl appearance and is 6-3 in previous games. The Deacons last postseason appearance came in the 2008 EagleBank Bowl, where they lost to Navy 29-19.

"We couldn't be more excited to be playing in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl," Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe said in a statement. "Our players, coaches and fans are looking forward to this wonderful opportunity in Nashville. Traveling to Nashville during the Christmas holiday will be a great experience for our families and the players."


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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