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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI/Clarion-Ledger, Mike Bonner) — The final play of Nickoe Whitley’s Mississippi State career will be forcing the fumble from Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace to secure an overtime Egg Bowl victory.

(AP Photo) Nickoe Whitley's final play as a Bulldog was this strip to seal the win over Ole Miss in this year's Egg Bowl. The senior had ACL surgery this week and is out for the bowl game.

(AP Photo)
Nickoe Whitley’s final play as a Bulldog will be this strip to seal the win over Ole Miss in this year’s Egg Bowl. The senior had ACL surgery this week and is out for the bowl game.

The senior had surgery Monday to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament, MSU coach Dan Mullen told Head to Head radio.

“He had ACL surgery (Monday),” Mullen said. “About Week 3 of the season, the doctors came and said, ‘Hey, he’s going to have to have knee surgery.

“I met with Nickoe and said, ‘Hey, you can have surgery now and hopefully be healed for the (NFL) combine, or you can suck it up and play with it the rest of the year. It’s not going to get a lot worse. You’ll still have to have the surgery afterward.’ He said, ‘I’m not giving up on the team, I’m going to play it out, and I’ll (have surgery) after the last regular-season game.”

Whitley currently leads all active FBS players with 15 career interceptions and is second on the MSU single-season chart with five picks this year.

He’ll also end his career one pick shy of Johnthan Banks and Walt Harris’ program record. He finished the Egg Bowl with five tackles, including three solo stops, and a quarterback hurry.

He tallied 55 tackles this season to end his career with 229.

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