By JOEL COLEMAN
Mississippi State’s postseason destination is no longer a mystery. It was announced Sunday that the Bulldogs are headed to Charlotte, North Carolina for the 2015 Belk Bowl.
MSU (8-4, 4-4) will battle Atlantic Coast Conference member North Carolina State in the contest, which kicks off at 2:30 p.m on Dec. 30. inside the home of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, Bank of America Stadium.
The game will be televised by ESPN.
“This is a great opportunity for our team and our fans to cap off the 2015 season at the Belk Bowl in Charlotte for the first time,” MSU head coach Dan Mullen said in a school release. “This senior class is the second-winningest in school history and they have been to a bowl game every year. We want to send them out the right way for everything they have done for our program. We look forward to seeing our Bulldog fans take over Charlotte in what will be a fun week.”
Mississippi State will be the designated home team for the matchup and cowbells will be allowed inside the stadium.
The trip marks MSU’s sixth-straight bowl game and first-ever appearance in the Belk Bowl, which began in 2002.
“On behalf of everyone at Mississippi State, we are excited to accept our sixth-straight bowl bid, this time to the 2015 Belk Bowl,” MSU Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin said. “It’s appropriate that one of the winningest senior classes in Bulldog history will wrap up their MSU careers in one of America’s great cities against a quality ACC opponent in NC State.”
The Belk Bowl will be Mississippi State’s 19th overall bowl appearance dating back to 1937. MSU is 10-8 all-time in bowl games, but have lost two of the last three.
Mullen is 3-2 as MSU’s head coach in bowl games. MSU’s trip to Charlotte ties Mullen with Jackie Sherrill for most bowl appearances for a head coach while at Mississippi State.
NC State ended the regular season with 7-5 overall record while going 3-5 in ACC play.
The Bulldogs and Wolfpack are meeting for the first time since NC State topped MSU 29-25 in the 1995 Peach Bowl in Atlanta. The two schools also met in the 1963 Liberty Bowl in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where Mississippi State took a 16-12 win. The Wolfpack leads the Bulldogs 3-2 in the all-time series.
The Belk Bowl will serve as an appetizer for the future. MSU and NC State recently scheduled a home-and-home series to take place during the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Mississippi State will travel to Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, North Carolina on Sept. 12, 2020 to face NC State. The Wolfpack will come to Davis Wade Stadium on Sept. 11, 2021.
Tickets are on sale now for the Belk Bowl at hailstate.com/tickets or by calling 1-888-GO-DAWGS. Student tickets can be bought online only beginning at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.
All of Mississippi State’s team allotment will be located in the lower and club levels of Bank of America Stadium.