St. Petersburg Bowl Preview: RedHawks vs Bulldogs
The 2016 version of the St. Petersburg Bowl is shaping up to be a good one with the red hot Miami RedHawks riding a six game winning streak as they look to tame the Mississippi State Bulldogs. What is unique about the RedHawks is that they dropped their first six games this season before doing a complete turnaround and winning their final six games. Miami just seemed to flip a switch in their game against Kent, and have not looked back ever since their first victory. Miami’s 6-game winning streak was good enough to earn them a share of the MAC East title, and a chance to upset an SEC team in Mississippi State.
As for the Bulldogs, Mississippi State has somewhat of a rollercoaster like season. They were able to beat South Carolina, Texas A&M, and Ole Miss, but they lost close ones to LSU and Kentucky. If Mississippi State can play up to their potential, then they should have no problem getting past Miami. The key will be the play of sophomore QB Nick Fitzgerald, who has taken team on his shoulders at times this season. Heading into the St. Pete Bowl, the 6’5” gunslinger has thrown for 2,287 yards along with 21 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
This week both teams have enjoyed their time in the Sunshine State, as they took part in a handful of events leading up to Monday’s game. Those events included a battle of the beach complete with a tug of war and belly flop contest, a battle of the bands, bowl block party, visit to All Children’s Hospital, as well as a Busch Gardens trip.
Kickoff of the St. Petersburg Bowl is scheduled for 11 am on Monday December 26th inside Tropicana Field. If you can’t make it out to the Trop, the game will also be televised nationally on ESPN.
The two coaches breakdown the game with Jim Williams and Thomas Fernandez. Dan Mullen of Mississippi State and Miami of Ohio coach Chuck Martin, tell us who to look for as possible game breakers.