Fifth-year senior safety Nickoe Whitley helped Mississippi State reach the postseason forcing pivotal late fumbles in both the Arkansas and Ole Miss victories.
Whitley stripped Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace of the football on the final play of the game in overtime to secure the Bulldogs bowl berth.
It would be the final play the Jackson native makes in maroon and white. Whitley underwent surgery on Monday to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and will miss the bowl game.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder appeared in 46 games during his Bulldog career making 42 starts. Whitley made 229 tackles, eight stops for loss, 1.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 19 pass breakups.
Whitley currently leads the country with 15 career interceptions finishing one shy of Walt Harris and Johnthan Banks school record. He is expected to graduate with a master’s degree in May.