Wells, Seniors Leave Davis Wade in Style

Senior linebacker Matthew Wells was all smiles following Mississippi State's 51-0 blowout of Vanderbilt. The emotion of the pre-game ceremony had long since passed and Wells was eager to talk about the shutout of Vanderbilt and another school in the Magnolia State who has been relegated to the spoiler role as Egg Bowl week is now upon us.

Matthew Wells profile

The Mississippi State defense has played some of its' best football here in the second half of the season. After losing last week in Tuscaloosa, the Bulldogs were eager to make a statement against Vanderbilt.

"I feel like we're more together tonight," said Wells. "We know we came off of a loss, a tough loss to Alabama. We had to come out and redeem ourselves. We just played that much harder today to just go and make plays. I feel like we made a step tonight.

Throughout the season, the Bulldog defense has played with a lot of emotion and passion. Even when the offensive unit has needed time to find a rhythm, the Bulldog defense has consistently kept the Bulldogs in games.

"We hype each other up and just play for each other," said Wells. "We all play as a team. We just trying to keep everybody up and just play the psycho defense that we are.

One of the emotional leaders of the team, Christian Holmes, was rewarded for his hard nosed play on Saturday night when he stripped a Vanderbilt receiver of the football and returned it for a score.

The "strip six" was a big moment in the ball game and a fitting highlight for a Bulldog fan favorite.

"I like to see him do good just anytime," said Wells of Holmes. "He works hard. He's been here with me, so he's a senior. Any play he makes, I just want to congratulate him, because he works hard."

While senior linebacker Holmes reached the end zone for the Bulldog defense, sophomore Brandon Wells made a diving pass break up to preserve the Bulldog blanking of the Commodores.

With most of the Bulldog regulars pulled to prepare for next week, the Mississippi State "1C" defense made the play to deny Vanderbilt their best scoring opportunity of the contest.

"It exploded," said Wells of the Bulldogs' sideline. "With the young guys in there, we were just happy to see him make a play. It was good to see everybody go out and do their assignment. It was a great play and we wanted to keep the shutout. We wanted to see the time run out with the big zero on the scoreboard. It was a big play for all of us."

Senior day has a bit of finality to it, but Mississippi State is assured of at least two more games including the battle for the Golden Egg and possible a national playoff berth. These Dogs have a lot to play for. A win on senior day was expected, but the necessity of that ceremony and circumstance is secondary to the actual on the field contest.

"You have mixed emotions, but you want to get a win and go out there play hard for each other," said Wells. "We want to play hard and do some good things, so these young guys will want to come in here and play for us."

Wells, now in his fifth year in the Bulldog program, will prepare for one more dance with "The School Up North" as the Bulldogs head to Oxford for the annual grudge match.

"Like every year, it's the Egg Bowl," said Wells. "It's a big in state rivalry. We are going to work hard and be ready for another hard fought game against them. We want to go over the and be sure to bring the Egg back with us."

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