Two weeks removed from a dominating Egg Bowl performance and learning a postseason destination awaits, Mississippi State football returned to the practice field with a two-hour workout Friday evening in preparation for the St. Petersburg Bowl.
The Bulldogs (5-7) will play in their school-record seventh straight bowl game on Dec. 26 against Miami (Ohio) (6-6) at 10 a.m. CT on ESPN.
Practices Saturday and Sunday are open to the public outdoors at the Seal Complex. Saturday’s practice is 10:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. and Sunday’s workout is 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m.
Head coach Dan Mullen put the squad through a helmets only practice on Friday, a day when several seniors on the program earned their college degrees and participated in commencement ceremonies. The Bulldogs qualified for a bowl with a strong NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 971, which is 12 points above the national average
“We are getting to go to a bowl game because of academics and because of the work our guys have done,” Mullen said. “I think it is one of the great lessons that guys in our program will learn during their whole career here that is was academics and things off the field that got them rewarded with this trip this year.”
Mullen announced that junior Damian Williams will serve as the backup quarterback for the St. Petersburg Bowl. Sophomore Nick Fitzgerald, in his first season as a starter, led the Southeastern Conference in total offense with 3,530 yards.
The Bulldogs will practice all next week and conclude Starkville practices on Saturday, Dec. 17. The squad heads to St. Petersburg via a charter flight on the afternoon of Wednesday, Dec. 21.