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December 30, 2011

College Football Report - 2011 Bowl Picks - Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl:

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl

Wake Forest (6-6) vs. Mississippi State (6-6)

V S.

6:40 PM, ESPN, Friday, Dec. 30, Nashville, TN

Why Watch: Watch two teams fight it out for a winning season. One of the two is walking away with one more loss than wins on the season. If Mississippi State wins, it just might send head coach Dan Mullen into another gig. He might not get another chance at a big-time job.

Who to Watch: Each team has a pair of offensive playmakers the average fan probably hasn’t heard of. For Wake, its wideout Chris Givens. The junior brought in 74 catches on the season for 1,276 yards and nine scores. His most impressive statistic, though, is his 17.2 yards a catch. Without running back Vic Ballard, the Bulldogs offense wouldn’t be much of anything. Ballard rushed for 1,009 yards this season, and eight touchdowns. In two years at Mississippi State, Ballard has 29 total touchdowns.

How it’s Going Down: This one could get a little sloppy; a lot like both seasons for the two have gone. The Demon Deacons began the season on a 5-2 mark, only to finish 1-4. For Mississippi State, just two wins came against bowl subdivision teams. They beat just one team all season with a winning record (Louisiana Tech). The Bulldogs offense is all about Ballard. He’ll get a hefty dose of carries in his final collegiate game, against a Wake defense that gives up an average of 162 yards a game. While the Bulldogs are fare from a stout defense, their No. 23 rated pass defense counters Wake’s offensive focus better than anything else. In a game like this, coaching can go a far way, too, which is why Mullen should come out on top. Pick: Mississippi State 26 – Wake Forest 20

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