Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers shared an emotional message in reference to the late Mike Leach following the Bulldogs' 19-10 ReliaQuest Bowl victory over Illinois on Monday, per SportsCenter.

“It's been tough,” Rogers said in response to navigating through the season amid Leach's passing. “Coach (Mike Leach) and I were so close. To lose a coach like that, to lose a friend like that, it hurt me for a really long time. It will continue to hurt. To be able to come out here with this group of guys, my brothers, I can't say enough about this team and this university.”

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Will Rogers continued by stating that he wanted to win the game for Mike Leach.

“I definitely wanted to win this game for coach. I think we all did. If we came out here and really lost the game I don't think coach would have been too happy with us. It says a lot about our team, it says a lot about these individuals and coaches that were able to stick together and come out with a win. 9 wins.”

Mississippi State football honored Leach prior to the game. Although it was a touching tribute, Leach would have certainly been most excited about the Bulldogs earning the win on Monday.

Will Rogers struggled in the game, going just 29-44 through the air with 1 passing touchdown and 2 interceptions. But the Mississippi State defense stepped up and contained Illinois in the hard-fought win.

Mike Leach's memory will continue to live on at Mississippi State.