September 7, 2008

Defense getting it done for MSU

Mississippi State has always been known for its smashmouth style of defense.

But the Bulldogs may have taken it to a new level on Saturday holding Southeastern Louisiana to 148 yards and only eight first downs.

State held the Lions to only three first downs in the first three quarters. Southeastern Louisiana went the entire second and third quarters without a first down. The Lions were awarded a first down on their second drive of the first quarter a 15-yard face mask penalty around the 10:00 mark and didn't achieve another one until around the 14:00 mark of the fourth quarter when Beatty hit Yarbrough on a 19-yard pass. It was a span of eight drives without a first down.

MSU also got to Lion quarterbacks five times during the 34-10 win, the most in any game since recording seven sacks against Florida in 2000.

Cortez McCraney and Charles Mitchell led the Bulldog defense with five tackles each. McCraney also added a sack, a fumble recovery and a quarterback hurry.

Tim Bailey, K.J. Wright, Jimmie Holmes and LaMarcus Washington also added sacks while De'Mon Glanton and Dominic Douglas forced fumbles.

A GAME OF FIRSTS

Eric Richards' opening kickoff to the 3-yards line was his first career action.

Linebacker [db]Jamie Jones and tight ends Marcus Green and Nelson Hurst earned their first career starts.

Williams' sack was the first of his career while Bailey and McCraney's were their first of the season. Douglas' forced fumble was also his career first.

Running backs Robert Elliott and Wade Bonner had their first career carries. Elliott had five rushes for 10 yards while Bonner toted six times for 10 yards.

Tight end Austin Wilbanks also grabbed his first career pass with 10 seconds remaining in the first half on a 1-yard touchdown reception from Wesley Carroll.

DIXON INCHING CLOSER

Running back Anthony Dixon rushed for 80 yards, placing him 10th all-time in Mississippi State history. His 18 attempts placed him fourth all-time.

With his two rushing touchdowns on Saturday, Dixon is now second all-time in rushing touchdowns with 25.

"It means something to me, I'm not going to lie about it," Dixon said. "But I'm going to try to keep focused on this year and get to No. 1. I really just want to keep it rolling."

CONSISTENT CARLSON

Kicker Adam Carlson tied for ninth in Bulldog history with two second quarter field goals from 33 and 41-yards out.

Carlson's miss from 32-yards out in the fourth quarter snapped consecutive field goal streak at nine. He has made nine of his last 10 attempts and 10 of his last 13 dating back to last season.

ROAD WOES CONTINUE

Southeastern Louisiana has now lost 12 of its last 13 road games. The Lions 34-28 win over Alcorn State last week was its first since a 38-21 victory over Mississippi Valley State to end the 2005 season.


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