We’re counting down to MSU’s season opener against Oklahoma State on Aug. 31, giving you a significant number to ponder as August trudges on. Today’s number is…
Dan Mullen has said that one sign of MSU’s progress as a program is the fact it was chosen for one of ESPN’s season-opening neutral-site games. They’ve had one in Atlanta for years, and now they’ve started one in Houston, the Texas Kickoff Classic. And that’s where the Bulldogs will face No. 13 Oklahoma State (2:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2).
MSU has opened the season at a neutral site 15 times previously, winning seven of those games. So a win next weekend could give State an even .500 record in such games. Its last neutral-site opener was in way back in 1981, in Jackson. MSU beat Memphis, 20-3. The Bulldogs played a lot of games in Jackson back then, and that ’81 game was the third time in four years they opened the season there.
In fact, of the 15 neutral-site openers MSU has played, 10 were in Jackson. It’s also opened seasons in Memphis (1952 vs. Tennessee), Montgomery (1932 vs. Alabama), Aberdeen (1916 vs. Mississippi College) and Columbus (1904 vs. Vanderbilt, 1903 vs. Alabama).
This will be the second time MSU and Oklahoma State have opened a season on a neutral field. They also did so in 1970, with the Bulldogs eking out a 14-13 win in Jackson.