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MEMPHIS – The build-up is all but over.

It is finally game week for both the Tigers and Mississippi State Bulldogs, who are set to open the season against one another Saturday night down in Starkville.

One of the bigger and better match-ups of week one. the U of M is looking for its first win in Starkville since 1993 and coming off that upset win over State last year, in thrilling if not controversial fashion.

So after waiting through the spring and summer, not to mention fall camp, kickoff is closing fast.

“Every week one game is exciting. I don’t care who you are or when you’re playing it. Everybody gets excited. Everybody is fired up because college football’s back and if your blood’s not flowing, your hair on the back of your neck is not standing up, something’s wrong with you,” said Tigers coach Ryan Silverfield.  “But the nature of this game, let’s call it what it is. This is a big game. And we understand that. We understand going down, playing Starkville, versus an SEC opponent. We understand the rivalry. Look, this is huge.”

“Really, just to play. You’re just excited to play. I mean, games are the best part of it. That’s what you work toward,” said Mississippi State coach Mike Leach. “We’re not a real old team yet, but we are an experienced team. You know, we’ve got a number of guys that have started for two years, so I think they’re bound to improve.”