Mississippi State Bulldogs

LOUISVILLE, KY - SEPTEMBER 17: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Louisville Cardinals runs with the ball during the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on September 17, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)
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Behold: The full 2016-17 college football bowl schedule is here

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The College Football Playoff and New Year’s Six lineups are set, but there’s much more to bowl season than the top line games. Running 40 games deep and stretching from Dec. 17 to Jan. 9, the 2016-17 bowl schedule came together Sunday afternoon, which we’ve compiled here for your viewing enjoyment.

Let’s dive right in.

Saturday, Dec. 17
Gildan New Mexico Bowl (2 p.m. ET, ESPN): UTSA vs. New Mexico
Las Vegas Bowl presented by Geico (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC): Houston vs. San Diego State
Raycom Media Camelia Bowl (5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): Appalachian State vs. Toledo
AutoNation Cure Bowl (5:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network): Central Florida vs. Arkansas State
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (9 p.m. ET, ESPN): Lousiana-Lafayette vs. Southern Miss

Monday, Dec. 19
Miami Beach Bowl (2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): Central Michigan vs. Tulsa

Tuesday, Dec. 20
Boca Raton Bowl (7 p.m. ET, ESPN): Memphis vs. Western Kentucky

Wednesday, Dec. 21
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (9 p.m. ET, ESPN): BYU vs. Wyoming

Thursday, Dec. 22
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (7 p.m. ET, ESPN): Idaho vs. Colorado State

Friday, Dec. 23
Popeyes Bahamas Bowl (1 p.m. ET, ESPN): Old Dominion vs. Eastern Michigan
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): Louisiana Tech vs. No. 25 Navy
Dollar General Bowl (8 p.m. ET, ESPN): Ohio vs. Troy

Saturday, Dec. 24
Hawai’i Bowl (8 p.m. ET, ESPN): Hawaii vs. Middle Tennessee

Monday, Dec. 26
St. Petersburg Bowl (11 a.m. ET, ESPN): Mississippi State vs. Miami (Ohio)
Quick Lane Bowl (2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): Boston College vs. Maryland
Camping World Independence Bowl (5 p.m. ET, ESPN2): NC State vs. Vanderbilt

Tuesday, Dec. 27
Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (noon ET, ESPN): Army vs. North Texas
Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): No. 24 Temple vs. Wake Forest
National Funding Holiday Bowl (7 p.m. ET, ESPN): Washington State vs. Minnesota
Motel 6 Cactus Bowl (10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN): Boise State vs. Baylor

Wednesday, Dec. 28
New Era Pinstripe Bowl (2 p.m. ET, ESPN): No. 23 Pittsburgh vs. Northwestern
Russell Athletic Bowl (5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): No. 16 West Virginia vs. Miami
Foster Farms Bowl (8:30 p.m. ET, FOX): Indiana vs. No. 19 Utah
AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl (9 p.m. ET, ESPN): Texas A&M vs. Kansas State

Thursday, Dec. 29
Birmingham Bowl (2 p.m. ET, ESPN): South Florida vs. South Carolina
Belk Bowl (5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): Arkansas vs. No. 22 Virginia Tech
Valero Alamo Bowl (9 p.m. ET, ESPN): No. 10 Colorado vs. No. 12 Oklahoma State

Friday, Dec. 30
AutoZone Liberty Bowl (noon ET, ESPN): TCU vs. Georgia
Hyundai Sun Bowl (2 p.m. ET, CBS): No. 18 Stanford vs. North Carolina
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): No. 21 Tennessee vs. Nebraska
Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl (5:30 p.m. ET, Campus Insiders): South Alabama vs. Air Force
Capital One Orange Bowl (8 p.m. ET, ESPN): No. 6 Michigan vs. No. 11 Florida State

Saturday, Dec. 31
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl (11 a.m. ET, ABC): No. 20 LSU vs. No. 13 Louisville
TaxSlayer Bowl (11 a.m. ET, ESPN): Georgia Tech vs. Kentucky
CFP Semifinal at Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (3 p.m. ET, ESPN): No. 4 Washington vs. No. 1 Alabama
CFP Semifinal at PlayStation Fiesta Bowl (7 p.m. ET, ESPN): No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 2 Clemson

Monday, Jan. 2
Outback Bowl (1 p.m. ET, ABC): No. 17 Florida vs. Iowa
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic (1 p.m. ET, ESPN): No. 15 Western Michigan vs. No. 8 Wisconsin
Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual (5 p.m. ET, ESPN): No. 9 USC vs. No. 5 Penn State
Allstate Sugar Bowl (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): No. 14 Auburn vs. No. 7 Oklahoma

Monday, Jan. 9
College Football Playoff National Championship (8 p.m. ET, ESPN): ALA/WASH vs. CLEM/OSU

Jalen Hurts scores five TDs as No. 1 Alabama dominates Mississippi State

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 12:  Jalen Hurts #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide rushes away from J.T. Gray #12 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 12, 2016 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
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There are a few teams capable of giving No. 1 Alabama (10-0, 7-0 SEC) a decent contest in the SEC. Texas A&M and LSU were two, and Auburn may be another. As was put on display on Saturday afternoon, Mississippi State (4-6, 2-4 SEC) was not anywhere close to being up to the task, even a week after upsetting Texas A&M. Alabama moved a little bit closer to the SEC West Division championship with a decisive 51-3 victory over the Bulldogs on Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts continued to have the kind of game that merits at least a little bit of Heisman Trophy consideration by passing for 347 yards and four touchdowns and rushing for 100 yards and another touchdown in the win. This was the first 300-yard passing game and three-touchdown game for Hurts through the air. ArDarius Stewart was on the receiving end of three of those touchdown passes, with 156 yards in the box score. Alabama’s defense was once again dominant as well. Mississippi State didn’t manage to put three points on the board until after Alabama had a 30-0 lead at halftime.

Alabama won’t have a bye week next week, but they might as well. TheCrimson Tide will host FCS Chattanooga for the typical late-season cupcake mismatch that is common among SEC schools. The game will serve as nothing more than a final tune-up for the Iron Bowl matchup with Auburn the following week. If Auburn wins on the road against Georgia this afternoon, the Iron Bowl will determine the champion of the SEC West and send the winner to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game.

Alabama will have the SEC West wrapped up today if Auburn should happen to lose at Georgia.

Mississippi State is now walking on thin ice when it comes to bowl eligibility.Dan Mullen needs to win both of his remaining games, against Arkansas at home and at Ole Miss, to meet the six-win bowl minimum. It is a possibility Ole Miss may be in a win-or-stay-home situation in the regular season finale as well.

Jalen Hurts and dominant defense have Alabama on cruise control vs. Miss. State

BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 05:  Jalen Hurts #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks to pass against the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium on November 5, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
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Mississippi State may have felt pretty good about a win last week, but they are no match for thje top-ranked team in the country this afternoon in Tuscaloosa. No. 1 Alabama is dominating the Bulldogs, 30-0, after one half of play.

Jalen Hurts has tossed two touchdowns in the half, one to ArDarius Stewart (who is already over 100 receiving yards) and another to Calvin Ridley. Just for good measure, Hurts has also rushed for a touchdown to go with his 210 passing yards and 81 rushing yards. It has been more than enough offense for the Crimson Tide as the defense continues to clamp down on its opponents. Mississippi State has converted just three of nine third down plays, and Alabama is outgaining Mississippi State by over 200 yards.

It’s going to be a long second half for the Bulldogs, who are likely to be placed on very thin ice for bowl eligibility. Alabama can wrap up the SEC West with a win today and an Auburn loss.

A&M QB Trevor Knight ruled out for rest of regular season

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A bad last couple of weeks for Texas A&M has taken an exponentially sharp turn for the worse.

Kevin Sumlin confirmed Tuesday that Trevor Knight has been ruled out for the remainder of the 2016 regular season because of a shoulder injury.  The Aggies head coach did say that the senior starting quarterback could possibly return for the bowl game.

Knight, who will miss games against Ole Miss, UT-San Antonio and LSU, suffered the injury in the first half of the Week 10 loss to Mississippi State and didn’t return.

Currently 88th in the country in passing efficiency — he’s completed just over 50 percent (52.5) of his passes this season — where Knight, a graduate transfer from Oklahoma, will be really missed is in the running game.  Knight has rushed for 583 yards this season, a total that’s second on the team, and he leads the Aggies with 10 touchdowns on the ground.

Jake Hubenak, who will take over for Knight, has two yards on 14 carries this season.  In limited action, he’s completed 60 percent of his 38 carries for 350 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.  The vast majority of those yards (222) and two of those touchdowns came after replacing Knight in the MSU loss.

Hubenak made one start last season.  His second will come this Saturday against Ole Miss in College Station.

The silver lining for the Aggies?  All three of their remaining regular season games will be played at home.

Miss. St. upsets A&M, shakes up playoff rankings

STARKVILLE, MS - NOVEMBER 5:  Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald #7 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs scrambles for a first down as he gets around linebacker Shaan Washington #33 of the Texas A&M Aggies during the first half of an NCAA college football game at Davis Wade Stadium on November 5, 2016 in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
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Many an eyebrow was raised when one-loss Texas A&M was slotted ahead of unbeaten Washington in the first playoff rankings for the 2016 season.  Those eyebrows can now officially be lowered — to half-staff in College Station, as it turns out.

With star players on each side of the ball on the sidelines, A&M was unable to overcome its halftime deficit in the final two quarters as Mississippi State bullied its way to a 35-28 win in Starkville.  The Bulldogs held a 21-7 lead late in the second quarter, only to see Christian Kirk return a punt 93 yards for the score to cut the deficit to 14 just before the half; Kirk was responsible for slicing further into the lead, scoring on a 54-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter to pull the Aggies to within seven at 28-21.

On the ensuing possession, however, the Bulldogs drove 73 yards in a drive that was culminated by Nick Fitzgerald‘s four-yard touchdown run with just over three minutes remaining in the game.  The punishing drive lasted 14 plays and burned nearly eight minutes off the fourth-quarter clock, and featured a trio of key third-down conversions.

With 1:33 left to play, though, a four-yard Jake Hubenak touchdown pass to Josh Reynolds on fourth down pulled the Aggies to within seven at 35-28.  However, the Aggies failed to recover an onside kick and the Bulldogs were able to run out most of the remainder of the clock.  They still had one more (very faint) chance, but that chance was intercepted to seal the upset.

Fitzgerald accounted for nearly 400 yards of offense — 209 passing, 180 rushing.  The sophomore also scored four of the Bulldogs’ five touchdowns, two each in the air and on the ground.

A&M, ranked No. 4 in the initial College Football Playoff rankings, played the entire second half without starting quarterback Trevor Knight (shoulder), and the vast majority of the last two quarters without star defensive end Garrett Myles.  MSU improved to 4-5 overall and 2-3 in SEC play.