Mississippi State Bulldogs welcome attention

Mississippi State Bulldogs welcome attention

October 24th, 2013 by David Paschall in Sports - College

OTHER PICKS

LSU 52, Furman 7

Ole Miss 45, Idaho 12

Marshall 28, MTSU 21

Miami 41, Wake Forest 16

Pittsburgh 30, Navy 19

Clemson 39, Maryland 28

FSU 46, N.C. State 25

Virginia Tech 33, Duke 10

UNC 17, Boston College 14

Okla. Sate. 34, Iowa State 23

Louisville 32, So. Florida 29

Notre Dame 31, Air Force 18

Nebraska 35, Minnesota 22

Oklahoma 27, Texas Tech 24

Baylor 49, Kansas 6

Ohio State 35, Penn State 30

Oregon State 24, Stanford 17

Does it get any bigger in Southeastern Conference football than Kentucky vs. Mississippi State in Starkville?

Of course it does, but don't try telling that to the Bulldogs and Wildcats. Tonight's game on ESPN provides exposure for two programs that occasionally get lost among the league's typical Saturday showdowns.

"We're excited to get to play on national television in a Thursday night game," Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said Wednesday. "I know everyone around the country watches that game, so it's a great opportunity for our players and our program to go show what they can do before a national TV audience."

Mullen's Bulldogs are no strangers to hosting Thursday night games during the season, having housed Auburn in 2010 and LSU in 2011. Auburn and LSU won the SEC in those seasons with 13-0 records, but Kentucky enters tonight 1-5 overall and 0-3 in league play.

"I love this opportunity, especially in one of these double-bye-week years that we have when the calendar falls this way," Mullen said. "We both had a bye before this, so we've had time to prepare. I love playing in these games and on this stage."

This is one of the SEC's seven permanent cross-divisional matchups, and it's the only one in which both teams have losing all-time records. Kentucky's only SEC titles occurred in 1950 and 1976, while Mississippi State's lone crown took place in 1941.

"It doesn't quite feel like a rivalry to me yet since it's my first game," new Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said. "I'm just looking at it as another hard, tough SEC game on the road. It will be a very tough environment."

Pasquali's Pix:

Kentucky at Mississippi State: Mullen has been a whole lot better against the SEC East (8-3) than the SEC West (5-18). Bullies 31, Wildcats 16.

Vanderbilt at Texas A&M: The Commodores have never lost to the Aggies. Never played them either. Aggies 44, Commodores 24.

Georgia Tech at Virginia: The Yellow Jackets have lost nine of their last 10 games to the Cavaliers at Scott Stadium. Yellow Jackets 31, Cavaliers 24.

The Citadel at UTC: The Mocs are seeking their first 6-2 start since Roosevelt -- Teddy. Make that since Buddy Green in 1997. Mocs 35, Bulldogs 17.

Tennessee at Alabama: This is the 95th series meeting, but it's the first with "Brick-by-Brick" taking on "The Process." Crimson Tide 44, Vols 10.

South Carolina at Missouri: Gary Pinkel's Tigers have gone from being pegged No. 6 in the SEC East to being ranked No. 5 in the country. Tigers 28, Gamecocks 23.

Florida Atlantic at Auburn: The Gus Bus is 6-1 with an offense averaging an eye-popping 300.1 rushing yards a game. Tigers 33, Owls 16.

UCLA at Oregon: The Ducks aren't too fond of being No. 3 in the BCS standings. Ducks 45, Bruins 20.

Last week:

Winners...................16

Bielemas....................9

Pasquali is 168-32 overall (84.0 percent) this season.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.