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Music City Bowl preview capsule

Mississippi St. (6-6) vs. Wake Forest (6-6), 6:40 p.m. EST
/ Source: The Associated Press

Mississippi St. (6-6) vs. Wake Forest (6-6), 6:40 p.m. EST

Line: Mississippi St. by 6 1/2.

Series Record: First meeting.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Mississippi State's losses came to teams ranked either when the Bulldogs played them or currently, including four in the final BCS Top 10. This is the Bulldogs' second straight bowl under coach Dan Mullen, and they're trying to win a fifth straight bowl for the program and in consecutive years for only the second time and first since 1999-2000. The Demon Deacons rallied from a 3-9 season in 2010, and previously won two straight bowl games and five of their last six bowls.

KEY MATCHUP

Wake Forest WR Chris Givens on Mississippi State CB Johnthan Banks. Givens set a school record with 1,276 yards receiving and has received a grade of either a second- or third-round pick already from the NFL. Banks isn't sharing what he's hearing from the NFL, but the junior intercepted five passes this season and broke up nine other passes.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Wake Forest: QB Tanner Price. The sophomore is only the second quarterback in school history to throw for more than 2,800 yards, and he threw for 2,803 yards with 20 touchdowns. He has thrown 127 consecutive passes without an interception and has not had a pass picked off since he was intercepted three times Oct. 29 by North Carolina.

Mississippi St.: DL Fletcher Cox. The 6-foot-4, 295-pound junior also has asked for a rating of his NFL draft prospects. He was All-SEC by The Associated Press with four sacks, 12 1/2 tackles for loss and three quarterback hurries this season.

FACTS & FIGURES

Mississippi State is 8-20-1 all-time against the ACC. ... Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen has never coached against Wake Forest. ... The Bulldogs are 3-2 all-time versus the ACC in bowl games, including a 17-7 win over Clemson in the 1999 Peach Bowl. ... Mississippi State ranks 23rd nationally in pass defense. ... The Bulldogs are one of six teams to score a pair of touchdowns off both punt returns and interception returns. ... Wake Forest is 6-3 all-time in bowls with its last win 20-19 over Navy in the 2008 EagleBank Bowl. This the Demon Deacons' second bowl against an SEC team, and they lost 34-10 to LSU in the 1979 Tangerine Bowl. ... Wake Forest comes into the bowl having lost four of its last five. ... Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe is 7-5 all-time vs the SEC. ... The Demon Deacons went 5-3 in the ACC, winning five league games for only the fourth-time in school history.