AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL
December 21, 2013INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
• MISSISSIPPI STATE vs. RICE •
December 31 • 4 p.m. ET • Memphis, Tenn. • Liberty Bowl (60,121)
LIVE TV: ESPN (Bob Wischusen, play-by-play? Rod Gilmore,
analyst? Quint Kessenich, sidelines)
LIVE RADIO: ESPN Radio (Beth Mowins, play-by-play?
Joey Galloway, analyst? Paul Carcaterra, sidelines)
MISSISSIPPI STATE BULLDOGS (6-6, 3-5 SEC)
Head Coach: Dan Mullen (Ursinus, ‘94)
Overall/Years: 35-28 (.555) / 5th Season
Mississippi State/Years: Same
In Bowl Games: 2-1 (.667)
National Rankings: Not Ranked
Mississippi State Bowl Appearances: 16
Mississippi State Bowl Record: 9-7 (.563)
TE Malcolm Johnson (6-2, 235, Jr., Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
A second-team All-SEC selection by the league’s head coaches in 2013 ... Has
caught eight of 13 passes thrown to him on third down, converting seven into first
downs ... Tied for second on his team with 19 receiving first downs ... Third on his team
in receiving, averaging 31.5 yards per game with a touchdown ... Has played in each
of his team’s 12 games this season, averaging 13.0 yards per carry .. A John Mackey
Award National Tight End of the Week selection following the Kentucky game on Oct.
24, which included a career-long 60-yard reception.
WB Dak Prescott (6-2, 230, So., Haughton, La.)
Among FBS quarterbacks, is tied for third in touchdowns scored with 13 ... Ranks
third in the SEC in scoring (TDs) with 8.0 points per game and is fifth among all players
in points per game ... Stands sixth in the SEC in total offense per game at 240.8 and
ninth in passing yards per game (165.7) ... Leads his team with 46 rushing first downs
and 24 carries on third down ... Has accounted for 20 touchdowns, the fourth-most on
Mississippi State’s single-season list ... Became the 14th player in school history with
four career games of 200 or more passing yards.
FS Nickoe Whitley (6-1, 205, Sr., Jackson, Miss.)
A second-team All-SEC pick by the league’s head coaches ... Is the active FBS
leader in career interceptions with 15 ... The SEC leader in interceptions per game in
conference contests with 0.62, while ranking second in interceptions per game (all
games) at 0.45 ... Ranked 15th among all FBS players this season in interceptions per
game ... Fourth on his team with 55 total tackles, including 38 solo.
CB Benardrick McKinney (6-5, 235, So., Tunica, Miss.)
Leads his team with 70 tackles this season, including 48 hits on rushing plays ...
Has posted eight or more tackles on five occasions this season ... Has recorded six
tackles for loss for a team-leading loss of 40 yards ... Tied for second on his team
with 2.5 sacks for a loss of 32 yards ... Has charted four quarterback hurries on the
RICE OWLS (10-3, 7-1 Conference USA)
Head Coach: David Bailiff (Texas State, ‘81)
Overall/Years: 61-62 (.496) / 10th Season
Rice/Years: 40-47 (.460) / 7th Season
National Rankings: Not Ranked
Rice Bowl Appearances: 10
Rice Bowl Record: 6-4 (.600)
WR Jordan Taylor (6-5, 210, Jr., Denison, Texas)
A second-team All-Conference USA selection by the league’s coaches ... Has a career-
high eight touchdowns receptions this season, including six in the last six games
... Leads his team in receiving, averaging 65.1 yards per game ... Currently ranks fifth
in C-USA in receiving yards per game and fourth in receiving touchdowns ... Became
the 12th Rice player to reach 100 career catches and now ranks sixth in program history
with 120 ... Currently is sixth in school history with 1,741 career receiving yards.
QB Taylor McHargue (6-2, 220, Sr., Cedar Park, Texas)
The first quarterback in Rice history to lead his team to consecutive bowl berths ...
Has thrown a career-high 17 touchdown passes this season and has 43 for his career,
which ranks second best on the school career TD chart ... The first QB at Rice to start
four consecutive season openers since 1972 ... Ranks second in C-USA in passing
yards per completion at 14.04 ... Is third in his conference in passing touchdowns with
17 ... Has thrown for a career-high 2,261 yards this season, which ranks fifth in C-USA.
K Chris Boswell (6-2, 200, Sr., Keller, Texas)
A three-time C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week in 2013 ... Just the second
player in Rice school history to top 300 career points and two points shy of the school’s
career scoring record ... Tied for third on the C-USA career field goals chart with 65 ...
A three-time member of the Groza Award Preseason Watch List ... Career long fieldgoal
is 57 yards.
CB Bryce Callahan (5-10, 180, Jr., Cypress, Texas)
A second-team All-Conference USA selection by the league’s coaches ... Leads his
team with 10 pass break-ups and is second with three interceptions for 22 yards ...
Currently sixth among active FBS players, averaging 0.34 interceptions per game ...
Has 32 total tackles on the year, including 24 solo tackles and three tackles for loss
Record: Rice leads 1-0
SERIES: Mississippi State and Rice are meeting for just the second time in the history
of the two programs ... The Bulldogs defeated the Owls 28-14 on October 11, 1975 in
Houston but the win was later forfeited by the NCAA.
GAME NOTES: Mississippi State has won five out of its last six bowl games and is
making its fourth consecutive bowl appearance for the first time in school history ... The
Bulldogs are 1-2 all-time in the Liberty Bowl, last defeating UCF 10-3 in 2007 ... Rice is
making its 11th all-time bowl appearance and second consecutive ... The Owls defeated
Air Force 33-14 in last season’s Armed Forces Bowl ... Rice captured its first-ever Conference
USA Championship on Dec. 7, defeating Marshall 41-24.