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NCAA Bowl Previews 2015: Belk Bowl

Game two of the day features a battle between the ACC and SEC, the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the NC State Wolfpack.Missis



Game two of the day features a battle between the ACC and SEC, the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the NC State Wolfpack. Mississippi State looked to follow up a 10-2 regular season last year with a push at the College Football Playoffs, especially as Dak Prescott was returning for his senior, but two losses in their first five games ruined those hopes. Nevertheless, they finished the season 8-4 and are looking to do what they couldn’t last year: win a Bowl game. As you’d expect from having Prescott in fold, the offense isn’t a weakness for this team. They rank 33rd in total yards per game (451 YPG), 16th in passing yards per game (311.1 PYG), 103rd in rushing yards per game (140.3 RYG) and 42nd in points per game (33 PPG). Defensively, they are pretty average. They rank 58th in total defense (388 YPG), 56th in passing (216.8 PYG), 72nd in rushing (171.7 RYG) and 36th in scoring (22.8 PPG). I’ve already mentioned him twice, so it is only right I expand on what I’ve been implying. Dak Prescott is to the Bulldogs what Tim Tebow was to the Gators. He is a great leader who is an excellent, powerful, runner and has the exact composure you would wish for in a QB. However, he is a better thrower and shows good anticipation, decisiveness and an ability to read and react well, though can be very inaccurate and can lock onto receivers, so he needs to develop as a passer to separate himself from Tebow. The Bulldogs other top players to watch are junior WR De’Runnya Wilson, junior DT Chris Jones, CB Taveze Calhoun, OT Rufus Warren, DE Ryan Brown, TE Darrion Hutcherson, OG Justin Malone and WR Joe Morrow. You may look at NC State’s 7-5 record and assume they aren’t all that good, but when you consider they had to play the Clemson Tigers, Florida State Seminoles and the North Carolina Tar Heels, their record doesn’t seem too bad. They’ll be looking to get their second straight Bowl win as well as their second straight 8-win season. Offensively, the Wolfpack don’t wow you, but they certainly do enough. They rank 56th in total yards (412 YPG), 78th in passing yards (210.5 PYG), 32nd in rushing (201.4 RYG) and 38th in scoring (33.7 PPG). Defensively, the Wolfpack are better, they rank 19th in total defense (333 YPG), they rank 22nd in passing (188.5 PYG), 40th in rushing (144 RYG) and 43rd in scoring (23.8 PPG). NC State also boasts a big, athletic QB who is looking to impress in his final college game: Jacoby Brissett. Just like Prescott, there is a current QB who instantly springs to mind when watching Brissett, this time it is Colin Kaepernick. He his big (6’4”, 235lbs), is elusive as a runner and has a live arm. For the Wolfpack he has been able to be a huge playmaker – accounting for 50 touchdowns in his 2 years at NC State – whilst also being able to win from the pocket. He has to show more consistency against the bigger teams but he is a very intriguing prospect. Joining Brissett in looking to make one last impact for the Wolfpack are CB Juston Burris, OG, Joe Thuney, OT Alex Barr, DE Mike Rose, FS Hakim Jones, RB Shadrach Thornton and C Quinton Schooley. If you want to watch this game, or any of the other Bowl games, the complete Bowl schedule can be found here, where you’ll be able to see how and when you can watch every game.  

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Remy Cabache

Lifetime sports fan. I have written with RealSport since the NFL section started and I have also written for my own blog, EbonyBird.com and I have had several articles published in local newspapers covering my local (American) football team.

NCAA Bowl Previews 2015: Belk Bowl

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