Bulldogs pulling out all the stops for Gators' visit

October, 23, 2009
10/23/09
4:00
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Based on ticket sales, Mississippi State athletic director Greg Byrne is anticipating the largest crowd Saturday at Scott Field to ever see a Mississippi State football game.

The number to beat is 56,118, which was set against Alabama in 2007, a game the Bulldogs won 17-12.

The combination of Dan Mullen’s first season in Starkville and some aggressive marketing by the Mississippi State athletic department has really boosted attendance this season. The Bulldogs’ largest home crowd was 54,232 for the opener against Jackson State.

Senior running back Anthony Dixon said he can never remember this much excitement for a Mississippi State home game since he’s been in Starkville.

“You can just feel it everywhere you go,” Dixon said. “The intensity in that stadium is going to be like nothing you’ve ever seen around here. I know what kind of intensity Florida plays with, because they’re on TV all the time. We’ve got to match that.

“It’s going to take us and the fans, the whole Mississippi State program, for us to pull this off.”

Dixon, who became Mississippi State’s all-time leading rusher last week, turned coy when asked what the Bulldogs might have in store for the Gators given Mullen’s knowledge of that program.

“I don’t want to say much because I want to keep that a secret,” Dixon said. “Basically, he just told us that we have a chance, that we can beat them. I don’t want to say too much else and don’t want to give away our secret plan of knocking off the champs.

“But if we go out there and play hard and play our game, we can win this game.”

Ironically enough, Mississippi State’s last win over a top 5 team came against Florida in 2000. The Gators were No. 3 entering that contest, but lost 47-35 to the Bulldogs at Scott Field.

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