On the busiest day of the BOWL BLITZ INVITATIONAL so far here at STAT BOX STORIES, unofficial project MVP Eric Veneziano returns to tell us the story of his playthrough of the 2011 Music City Bowl between the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest. This is Eric’s fifth entry in the project to this point, and his contributions are greatly appreciated as he helps keep us on-track to cover all 35 Bowl Games this season.
As we now approach the heat of Bowl Season as days start to produce multiple games leading up to the big days of December 31st and January 2nd with an onslaught of games, I take to the field again and venture to Nashville Tennessee for the Music City Bowl in this edition of STAT BOX STORIES.
Once again we get a very interesting match-up in this year’s bowl season. The MSU Bulldogs came into the season with high expectations and carrying a Top 25 ranking. However they still are not at the level of the Big Boys of the SEC and finished with a 6-6 mark and a 2-6 conference record. Wake Forest was the direct opposite of the Bulldogs to start the year as they were expected to finish in the middle/bottom of the ACC. They fired out of the gate with a 4-1 record including an underdog win against then #23 Florida State. The season tailed off and they finished with a 6-6 record as well and both teams squeaked into a bowl game.
With Mississippi State having a significant ratings advantage in NCAA Football 12, I took control of the Demon Deacons to see if I could defeat an SEC team in bowl season.
Mississippi State won the toss and decided to kick. I was able to put together a very good drive that consisted of a grinding running game that chewed up yards and clock. The drive stalled around the 35 yard line and being just out of range of a field goal I attempted to go for it on 4th down. The pass play was broken up and MSU took over after I controlled the ball for more than 4 minutes but resulted in zero points. The Bulldogs drive was almost identical to the Demon Deacons as they drove down the field methodically, converting a number of short 3rd downs and running the ball heavily(a lot coming from their QB on scrambles). Their drive also stalled once they got across midfield and they elected to punt.
The rest of the 1st half played out very similar to this as both teams put together time consuming drives that didn’t result in points. The Bulldogs were able to get far enough into Wake territory late into the 2nd and added a field goal and took a 3-0 half time lead.
The 3rd quarter didn’t produce much excitement either until the Wake Forest defense, tired of the offense not scoring, decided to take matters into their own hands. After a forced fumble on a sack deep in Demon Deacon territory, my left end scooped it up and rumbled 71 yards for the game’s first touchdown.
The scoop and score seemed to wake up the Bulldogs a little as they took the ensuing kickoff and marched right down the field and scored a TD on a halfback screen from 29 yards out with 4:22 left in the game.
With plenty of time left in the game the Demon Deacons had multiple chances to tie or win the game. However, with a combination of good defense from MSU, wide receiver drops, and the Wake QB being off target, the game ended rather un-dramatically as Wake never really got close.
I must say this might have been one of the more boring games that I’ve been a part of, especially after my shootout/blowout in the Holiday Bowl. Both offenses compiled very little yardage but did so by chewing up a lot of clock. One thing I can say about the game is that at least we try to get a wide range of different styles of games here at STAT BOX STORIES.
Couldn’t have said it better ourselves here at STAT BOX STORIES; one of the great things about college Bowl Season and the BOWL BLITZ INVITATIONAL is how different each game can play out with so many different teams and different play styles. Be sure to check out the other stories posted on the blog here today and come back tomorrow for the busiest day of STAT BOX STORIES yet!
Guest Author Bio:
Eric Veneziano (PS3 ID: psuexv) is a long time gamer dating back to Double Dribble, NES Playaction Football and Baseball Stars and can actually go back to the Atari 2600 and Homerun and Super Challenge Football (love the unique names). He currently spends his time playing NCAA Football, Tiger Woods and NHL, having stepped away from Madden for awhile. He claims not to say many interesting things, but he is on Twitter at @psuexv.