Mississippi State enjoyed a beach day in Tampa, Florida ahead of the Reliaquest Bowl and the Bulldogs cheerleaders revealed the latest tribute to Mike Leach.

Wearing Leach’s trademark “STATE” tops, they honored the coach who passed away ahead of the bowl game after he wore that on a sweatshirt often during games. Most bowl teams have honored Leach either through helmet stickers, or coaches wearing T-shirts or other “STATE” shirts on the sideline.

At a pep rally, coach Zach Arnett said the Bulldogs have enjoyed a first-class experience and now it’s their job to hold up their end of the bargain and put a quality product on the field on Monday when they take on Illinois.

Arnett said his message to the team, especially the seniors, was he couldn’t thank them enough, or be more proud of how they’ve worked, or the success they’ve enjoyed.

“Obviously that was a big one on Thanksgiving,” he said. “… We’re excited this group gets to line up together one more time and strap it up and play a heck of a football team in Illinois.”