Originally posted on Bloguin Best  |  Last updated 12/31/12
Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. No. 20 Northwestern Wildcats Jan. 1, 12 p.m., ESPN2 Everbank Field (Jacksonville, Fla.) Line: Northwestern -1 Once the very definition of futility in college football, in the last two decades, nerdy Northwestern has shaken off the vestiges of its pathetic history. Except for one: The Wildcats haven't won a bowl game since Harry Truman was holding down the White House. This year in the Gator Bowl, the Bulldogs are looking to hand NU its ninth consecutive posteason loss. Sexiness: Kristen Stewart The star of the "Twilight" series is apparently one of the hottest actresses going today, but no one seems to know why. Her lifeless acting has a similar effect on viewers as those who sit through an MSU game. Her taste in roles apparently tends to the literary (see: "On the Road"), too, which should be a hit with the geeks at NU. A word about our sponsor...: TaxSlayer produces a suite of online tax preparation software. Very appropriate, as this game might be about as much fun as doing your taxes. Mississippi St. Aces: The Bulldogs excel in one particular phase of the game: Ball control. MSU milks the clock and tries to let opponents beat themselves. The Bulldogs rank 5th nationally in turnover margin at +1.42 per game. They only turned the ball over 14 times this year and managed to take it away 31 times. Deuces: MSU is, at best, average in both phases on offense. The Bulldogs rank 45th in Offensive S&P+: 55th in Rushing S&P+ and 43rd in Passing S&P+. Wildcard: Nothing. There is absolutely nothing "wild" about Mississippi State. Zero. Northwestern Aces: The Wildcats boast a pair of dynamic offensive playmakers in junior running back Venric Mark utility man Kain Colter. Mark averaged 6.15 yards per carry, 7th in the country among players with at least 200 attempts. Colter does it all: throwing for nearly 800 yards and 8 touchdowns as a part-time quarterback, running for more than 800 yards and 12 TDs and even catching 16 balls on the season. Deuces: NU has a rep as a high-octane spread team, but its passing game lacks pop. The Wildcats generate a mere 6 yards per attempts, putting them among the bottom 10 teams in the country. It's a not a stretch-the-field offense by any smeans. Wildcard: Kicker Jeff Budzien. The junior nailed 17 of 18 field goals and all 46 of his extra points this season. In a game where points could be at a premium, having a steady kicker could be a huge plus. So you don’t forget...: MSU's non-conference schedule consisted of Jackson State, South Alabama, Troy and Middle Tennessee State. The Bulldogs went 1-4 against teams that finished the season .500 or better, with an average margin of defeat of a little more than 23 points. Crystal Ball: I don't have a list of candidates handy, but MSU looks like it might be the most fraudulent eight-win team from an AQ conference in history. The Bulldogs chowed down on a batch of cupcakes to run up a 7-0 record before they got their heads handed to them in SEC play. Northwestern is not on par with the best of the SEC by any measure, though, and the Wildcats could struggle with MSU's physicality. Even so, I'm putting my faith in the 'Cats against my better judgment. With that chauncey resume, backing the Bulldogs just feels like rooting for the bad guy. Score: Northwestern 21, Mississippi St. 18
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Best athlete by state all time
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Aaron Rodgers takes shot at the Georgia Dome’s allegedly fake crowd noise

Russell Westbrook responds to All-Star snub

Report: Knicks, Melo to part ways by next season

Report: Pau Gasol out up to six weeks after hand surgery

Adam Jones to serve as penalty box attendant for minor league hockey team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Paxton Lynch to be given chance to win Broncos’ job

Patriots have a magician perform tricks for players every Friday?

Indiana's OG Anunoby needs knee surgery, out for remainder of season

Tom Brady refuses to discuss Donald Trump: ‘Let’s talk about football stuff’

Report: 49ers could target Kirk Cousins in trade that includes No. 2 overall pick

Mike McCarthy: Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams may be game-time decisions

Best of Yardbarker: Roger Goodell does what we all expected him to do

Eat, Drink, Watch for Jan. 20-22, 2017: Dips, rye, football and Death Race 2050

Box Score 1/20: 37 years ago today, Carter said no to Moscow

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The NFC Championship’s two most important players

Eight bold predictions for second half of NBA season

Box Score 1/19: Happy anniversary to the 'Tuck Rule' game

Clarification Please: Why college basketball needs to ditch the possession arrow

NBA hotline bling: Derrick Rose gets disconnected

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Roger Goodell does what we all expected him to do

Eat, Drink, Watch for Jan. 20-22, 2017: Dips, rye, football and Death Race 2050

QUIZ: Name the owners of these 50 famous NFL nicknames

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

The 'What's a Romo worth these days anyway?' quiz

Clarification Please: Why college basketball needs to ditch the possession arrow

NBA hotline bling: Derrick Rose gets disconnected

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker