Southern Miss, Miss. State fans tailgate before Saturday night kick-off

Southern Miss, Miss. State fans tailgate before Saturday night kick-off

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The 2015 college football season kicked off for both the University of Southern Mississippi and Mississippi State University Saturday. The teams went head-to-head at M.M. Roberts Stadium for the first time in 26 years.

But, before the game, fans of both the Golden Eagles and the Bulldogs gathered across the USM campus for tailgating activities.

Some fans barbecued chicken or cooked hamburgers, while others watched college games on portable TVs.

"It's been incredible, I haven't seen it like this since 2011, when we went 12 (wins) and 2 (losses), it's great to see the program coming back like this," said Ross Bedenbaugh, a USM fan from Hattiesburg.

"We got out here early and everybody has been more than welcoming," said Brice Daniel, a Mississippi State fan from Biloxi. "Nobody has been rude, so it's definitely fun out here."

"(We're) glad to have all the State fans out here," said Josh Diaz, another USM fan. "It's good to (play) schools from the same state, friendly rivalries."

"We're actually enjoying all of the music, the festivities going around and around," said Veronica Jones, another USM fan. "So, it's pretty good so far."

Mississippi State defeated Southern Miss 49-0 in Starkville in 2014.