The Mississippi State Bulldogs unveiled a newly renovated Davis Wade Stadium in Saturday night’s home opener against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, and the MSU faithful had no problem filling the stadium for the team’s first home game since its Egg Bowl victory last November.

Saturday’s game drew a crowd of 61,889 fans, which was a program record for attendance to a single game, and actually exceeded the capacity of the new stadium by more than 500 fans.

Players and coaches from both teams took notice to the added noise and commotion surrounding them during the game.

“We also had a fantastic crowd tonight,” Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said after the game. “They were here, they were electric, and our students and fan base were unbelievable. It was great to be able to play in this rivalry again.”

It certainly helped that the Bulldogs were facing an in-state opponent in Southern Miss, one they haven’t played in 24 years. Golden Eagles fans helped fill Davis Wade well before kickoff, and contributed to the raucous atmosphere Saturday night.

“You can see the passion from their fans … you can see the support from their fans and the effort that their guys play with,” Mullen added.

Players from both sides enjoyed the crowd noise surrounding the game. Tailback Josh Robinson told the Clarion-Ledger he thought the noise was unprecedented for a USM program used to playing before much smaller crowds.

Defensive tackle Chris Jones noted the energy and passion from the crowd was channeled to the MSU sideline, giving the Bulldogs a boost of energy and confidence that they hope to maintain in home games the rest of the season.