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Emotional day at MSU for 25 senior players

November 17, 2012

MSU football coach Dan Mullen, right, and his wife Megan, left, greet Linda Bell, the mother of Nick Bell during a pre-game senior day ceremony at Davis Wade Stadium Saturday. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)

It was an emotional win for the MIssissippi State Bulldogs, especially for 25 seniors.

The Bulldogs sent the seniors out on a high note as they beat Arkansas 45-14 Saturday at Davis Wade Stadium on senior day.

MSU honored a special Bulldog before the game. The late Nick Bell was supposed to be a part of the senior class, but he lost his battle to cancer a little over two years ago.

Nick's mother, Linda, was on hand. The Bulldogs recognized Nick along with the other seniors.

"Special memory," MSU head coach Dan Mullen said with a tear running down his face. "Nick Bell would've been a senior (Saturday). I hope it's the toughest thing I'll ever have to go through as a coach. It's great to make sure we honored his mom (Saturday). I know he was looking down on us cheering for us."

They also had the words "NICK BELL 36" written in the north end zone.
The senior class now has a record of 29-20 and is one of the most winningest senior classes in over a decade.

They proved that they were winners on the field Saturday.

"I'm really proud of our senior class and what they've accomplished when they got in here," Mullen said. "They've done a fabulous job and I think our fan base has been great."

Senior wide out Chad Bumphis finished the day with 82 yards on six catches and two touchdowns.

The Bulldogs held a slim 17-14 lead going in to the locker room at halftime. They had a chance to extend that lead, but a fumble by senior Arceto Clark deep in Arkansas territory ruined what looked to be a scoring drive for the Bulldogs.

The seniors didn't let it bother them.

"It's just being older and going through it," Bumphis said. "You have a lot of seniors who have been through it and experienced it."

Senior linebacker Cameron Lawrence led the Bulldogs with 11 tackles. Lawrence was on hand for his brother's, Addison, last game at Davis Wade Stadium last year.

He also had a fumble recovery.

"(I was) just doing my job, (and) being at the right place at the right time," Cameron Lawrence said. "He just bobbled it up."

Senior defensive backs Johnthan Banks, Corey Broomfield and Darius Slay did a good job of keeping the Arkansas passing game in check.

Banks had five tackles, Broomfield had two and Slay had a tackle and an interception.

Senior wide out Chris Smith caught two passes for 24 yards.

The Bulldog seniors still have two games to go. They go to Ole Miss next Saturday and will play in a bowl game after the regular season is over.

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