N.C. State is going back to the Belk Bowl.
The Wolfpack (7-5) will play Mississippi State (8-4) in the Charlotte bowl game on Dec. 30 (3:30 p.m, ESPN). It is the third trip to this bowl game and first since 2011 for N.C. State.
“We are both excited and thankful for the opportunity to play instate at the Belk Bowl in the great city of Charlotte,” N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said in a statement released by the school. “This is a great reward for our young team that has continued to improve over the course of the season.”
N.C. State won the Belk Bowl in 2011, 31-24 over Louisville, and beat South Florida, 14-0, in 2005 when it was called the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
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N.C. State is playing in the postseason for the fifth time in six years. It has won three of its past four bowl games and has a 1-0 record under Doeren (a 34-27 win over Central Florida in the St. Petersburg Bowl last year).
The Wolfpack and Bulldogs have met in a bowl game twice before: 1994 in the Peach Bowl, a 28-24 N.C. State win, and the 1963 Liberty Bowl, a 16-12 Mississippi State win.
The Bulldogs went 4-4 in the SEC West and 4-0 outside the SEC. Their only losses this season have been to ranked teams.
N.C. State finished 3-5 in the ACC for the second straight year and swept through a weak nonconference schedule.
Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio