Belk Bowl preview

North Carolina State head coach Dave Doeren, left, and Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen will battle for the Belk Bowl trophy today. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

North Carolina State head coach Dave Doeren, left, and Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen will battle for the Belk Bowl trophy today. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

CHARLOTTE, N.C., – One the most beloved players in Mississippi State history will don maroon and white one final time in the Belk Bowl today.

Senior quarterback Dak Prescott will play his last game as a Bulldog at 2:30 p.m. CT as MSU takes on NC State televised by ESPN.

While there will be plenty of attention on his final outing, Prescott is keeping his focus on trying to help the 8-4 Bulldogs be victorious.

I’m just worried about NC State right now and getting my team ready to go so that we’re prepared for everything they are going to give us,” Prescott said. “I have to be the leader for this team and I have one more game to do that. I’m going to make the most of it and enjoy the moment while I can.”

Prescott is one of 13 seniors who will take the field for the final time for the Bulldogs. He has already shattered 38 school records and owns a 1-1 record as a starter in bowl games.

In two postseason starts, Prescott has accounted for 861 yards and nine touchdowns.

Mississippi State owns a 10-8 record in bowl games following last year’s 49-34 loss to Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl. The Bulldogs are making their first ever appearance in the Belk Bowl.

Today marks the third time MSU has met the Wolfpack in the postseason. The Bulldogs claimed the 1963 Liberty Bowl 16-12 in Philadelphia followed by a 28-24 defeat in Peach Bowl in Atlanta to close the 1994 season.

NC State is making its 29th bowl outing and third postseason appearance at Bank of America Stadium, home to the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.

The Wolfpack went 7-5 during the regular season losing five of its final eight outings. NC State’s only victory against a team with a winning record came against Eastern Kentucky (6-5).

Senior quarterback Jacoby Brissett leads the Wolfpack into battle with plenty of experience against SEC opponents. Brissett played two seasons at Florida earning three starts under center for the Gators before transferring to NC State, where he has started all 25 games the past two years.

He’s a hard guy to tackle and can extend plays so there’s a lot of things in terms of the stress he puts on your defense,” said MSU defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. “He’s an older guy so he’s seen everything he’s been everywhere so you’re not going to shock him with a look he hasn’t seen.”

The Wolfpack will be without top rusher Matthew Dayes following foot surgery but will still have the services of tight end/fullback Jaylen Samuels, who leads the team with 64 catches for 599 yards and seven touchdowns.

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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