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Mississippi State vs. Northwestern
12 p.m. ET/ESPN2
The Gator Bowl is one of the most intriguing matchups of the New Year’s Day lineup.
Northwestern will try to earn its first bowl win since the 1949 season against a Bulldogs team that is going for its sixth consecutive bowl win.
Mississippi State started the year on a roll, winning seven straight before losing to Alabama. The Bulldogs struggled after that, however, losing three of their last four games, including a big loss to rival Ole Miss in their final regular-season game.
Northwestern started the season hot as well, winning five straight before losing to Penn State. The Wildcats finished with nine wins and in third place in the Big Ten Legends Division.
The Bulldogs have faced a tougher schedule, but Northwestern has more momentum going into the game.
The key will be whether the Bulldogs defense can stop Northwestern's run-dominated, two-quarterback system and force the pass. If Northwestern is forced to throw, Mississippi State will force turnovers and win handily.
Prediction: Mississippi State by 7