Thanks to their team accepting an invitation to the Capital One Orange Bowl, Mississippi State fans will have the opportunity to ring in the new year in Miami -- literally.
STARKVILLE -- If there's one image that stands out about the Georgia Tech football team's 10-3 season to this point, it came in Athens, Georgia.
That's where junior cornerback D.J. White intercepted a pass by quarterback Hutson Mason to preserve a 30-24 win, Georgia Tech's marquee victory of the season.
STARKVILLE -- For the fifth time in six seasons under coach Dan Mullen, the Mississippi State football team is looking for a defensive coordinator.
The position, filled for the past two years by Geoff Collins, is vacant after Collins accepted the same post at Florida. Collins' move to Gainesville, Florida, was first reported Tuesday morning and confirmed by the school at noon.
STARKVILLE -- The rewards continue to roll in for Mississippi State's Orange Bowl-bound football team.
A week after five Bulldogs were named All-Southeastern Conference performers, three of those players added All-America status to their list of accolades Tuesday.
STARKVILLE -- J.T. Gray wasted little time.
A freshman defensive back from Clarksdale who moved to linebacker early in fall camp, the original plan from Mississippi State's coaching staff was to redshirt Gray so he could have four years of eligibility starting next season.
But plans change.
STARKVILLE -- Benardrick McKinney and P.J. Davis have a lot in common.
Both were unheralded two-star recruits out of high school who escaped the attention of most major college football programs. Both have blossomed into all-conference players, McKinney as an All-Southeastern Conference middle linebacker at Mississippi State and Davis as an All-Atlantic Coast Conference linebacker at Georgia Tech. Both will be the centers of attention in the Orange Bowl, when each player leads his defense into the Dec. 31 showdown between the Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets.
STARKVILLE - Though their decisions on whether to enter the NFL Draft or return to school for their senior seasons have not been made yet, Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott and linebacker Benardrick McKinney are among a handful of Bulldogs curious about their futures.
STARKVILLE -- It was hard to judge which was more impressive, the pass or the catch.
Travis Daniels was feeling it.
Off to a fast start, piling up basket after basket, Daniels looked to the Mississippi State men's basketball team's bench and saw his teammates smiling and laughing, enjoying what turned out to be a 25-point win against St. Louis in a game Daniels scored a career-high 21 points.
The next night, it was gone.
STARKVILLE -- Before the final curtain closes on one of the greatest seasons in Mississippi State football history, casting calls are being held for 2015.
The auditions begin today.
STARKVILLE -- It's easy to pinpoint record-setting quarterback Dak Prescott as the central cause of the Mississippi State football team's 10-2 regular season.
It's also natural to assume the same thing of quarterback Justin Thomas, who has led Georgia Tech to its second Orange Bowl in the past four years.
STARKVILLE - One group got better and better as the season progressed, turning into one of the best units on Mississippi State's 10-2 team that's bound for the Orange Bowl.
CALEDONIA -- Every time he rises up to throw a dunk down, Shemar Johnson feels the energy rise around him.
"It gets our team going, gets me going," said Johnson, New Hope's 6-foot-5 senior guard who has become accustomed to delivering momentum-swinging slams. "It's a great feeling."
It's a feeling Johnson felt plenty Tuesday night.
STARKVILLE -- One day after five members of Mississippi State's Orange Bowl-bound football team raked in All-Southeastern Conference honors from The Associated Press, the same five collected more accolades, this time from the league's coaches.
This time, the order was different.
STARKVILLE -- The numbers are staggering.
Year after year, game after game, the Georgia Tech football team's triple option puts up eye-popping statistics. It has been the driving force behind the Yellow Jackets' surge under coach Paul Johnson that has the team's in its second Orange Bowl in the past four years.
STARKVILLE -- When asked Sunday about his team's opponent in the Orange Bowl, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson wasted little time in bringing up Mississippi State's most indispensable player.
STARKVILLE -- During his opening remarks at Mississippi State's Orange Bowl press conference Sunday afternoon, MSU Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin took a few moments to stump for his football coach.
STARKVILLE -- For the first time in 28 years, the Southeastern Conference first-team All-Conference quarterback hails from Mississippi State.
STARKVILLE -- Scott Stricklin is 5-for-5.
He expects to be 6-for-6.
Stricklin, Mississippi State's Director of Athletics, has signed football coach Dan Mullen to a contract extension in each of the past five seasons. Stricklin expects that streak to continue following Mullen's finest season in Starkville.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State football team will try to cap the program's most successful regular season with another piece of history.
MSU (10-2) will try to accomplish that feat in its first bowl game in Miami in more than seven decades.
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