News from MSU Media Relations--Dec. 23

The latest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...Football, Baseball and Men's Tennis.

Football
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Southeastern Conference and ESPN announced Wednesday that Mississippi State's 2011 home-opening football game against LSU has been selected for a Thursday night telecast.

The Bulldogs and Tigers will meet Thursday, Sept. 15, at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field. Kickoff time is set for 6:30 pm CT. The MSU-LSU game will be played the third week of the season, but will be the Bulldogs' first home game. State opens the '11 season with road games at Memphis (Sept. 3) and Auburn (Sept. 10).

"We appreciate our university administration working with us on this national television appearance," Mississippi State Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin said. "It is tremendous exposure not only for us, but for the university and its programs, and the state as well.

"Dr. Keenum and his staff have been supportive of opportunities of this kind, and have put in place a committee to assure the primary pursuit of the university - academic integrity - will continue despite the unusual situation of playing a college football game on a weeknight," Stricklin said. "We look forward to assisting in that endeavor, as well as a great football game that night."

It marks the second-straight season that Mississippi State will be featured on the national network's Thursday night prime-time telecast. The Bulldogs opened their 2009 SEC campaign with a Thursday appearance against Auburn at Davis Wade Stadium.

"We're excited for the opportunity to again play in front of a national audience," head coach Dan Mullen said. "Thursday night football on ESPN has become one of the most watched games each week, and we're happy to have the chance to showcase Mississippi State University, our fans and our players to the nation."

Mississippi State's Tentative 2011 Football Schedule
Sat, Sept 3--at Memphis--Memphis, Tenn.
Sat, Sept 10--at Auburn--Auburn, Ala.
Thurs, Sept 15--LSU--Starkville
Sat, Sept 24--Louisiana Tech--Starkville
Sat, Oct 1--at Georgia--Athens, Ga.
Sat, Oct 8--at UAB--Birmingham, Ala.
Sat, Oct 15--South Carolina--Starkville
Sat, Oct 29--at Kentucky--Lexington, Ky.
Sat, Nov 5--Tennessee-Martin--Starkville
Sat, Nov 12--Alabama--Starkville
Sat, Nov 19--at Arkansas--Fayetteville, Ark.
Sat, Nov 26--Ole Miss--Starkville


Baseball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Paced by seven players that earned President's Scholar or Dean's Scholar status, the Mississippi State University baseball team compiled a 3.05 grade point average during the recently-completed 2010 fall semester.

Freshman Brayden Jones (Madison, Miss.) recorded a 4.0 GPA and earned a listing as a President's Scholar along with sophomore Chris Stratton (Tupelo, Miss.).

Five Diamond Dog players, juniors Brent Brownlee (Oxford, Miss.), Jordan Faulkner (Canton, Miss.), Paxton Pace (Collinsville, Miss.) and Caleb Reed (Cleveland, Miss.) and sophomore Sam Frost (Hoover, Ala.) each registered grade point averages of at least 3.50 to earn Dean's Scholar list status.

MSU Assistant Athletic Director for Academics Ray Berryhill said 25 of MSU's 41 baseball players earned grade point averages of 3.00 or higher during the fall term.

Two senior players from State's 2010 baseball edition, Greg Houston (Hoover, Ala.) and Connor Powers (Naperville, Ill.), completed their undergraduate degree work during the fall semester. Houston and another Diamond Dog senior, Russ Sneed (Senatobia, Miss.) were named to the ESPN Academic All-America team following the 2010 campaign by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).


Men's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State University athletics has a new mark for highest team grade point average that is now a 3.85. The Mississippi State men's tennis team set this new mark this past fall term, extending its streak as the leading MSU varsity team in terms of GPA to four.

"I'm really proud of everyone on the team for this accomplishment," Coach Per Nilsson said.""We traveled a lot this semester but they always stay on top of their school work. We owe a lot of thanks to the teachers and our academic counselors for doing a great job with our student athletes."

Six tennis Bulldogs posted a perfect 4.0 GPA following the fall semester and no one on the team had a GPA lower than a 3.3.

MSU will serve up the spring season at the SEC Indoor Championships which begin on Jan. 13.


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