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October 17, 2009

MT can't match Bulldogs bite

Game Ticker | box score

MURFREESBORO, Tenn.(AP) Anthony Dixon rushed for 135 yards and two spectacular touchdowns to become Mississippi State 's career rushing leader, and the Bulldogs used a stifling defense to beat Middle Tennessee State 27-6 on Saturday.

Dixon's 57-yard touchdown run in the second quarter pushed him past Jerious Norwood on the career list and broke open a close game. His fifth straight 100-yard game also gave him another school record with 14 in his career.

The Mississippi State (3-4) defense picked off four passes, kept MTSU (3-3) out of the end zone on two drives deep into Bulldogs territory and held the Blue Raiders to 42 yards rushing to end a three-game losing streak.

Dixon finished off MTSU late in the fourth quarter when he took the handoff and dived into the end zone from the 1. He was hit in the legs, did a flip in the air and landed on his feet.

The Blue Raiders were focused on Dixon from the start and the Bulldogs made them pay when Tyson Lee faked the handoff to the running back late in the first quarter, then ran untouched for 39 yards straight upfield as the entire MTSU defense chased Dixon to the sideline.

MTSU managed to stay in front of Dixon for much of the first half. But he finally broke through late in the second quarter when he took the handoff through the middle of the line and outsprinted the Blue Raiders. It was his second straight game with a scoring run that went more than half the field. The senior now has 3,299 career yards rushing with at least six games left this season.

MTSU quarterback Dwight Dasher was suspended for the first quarter for missing a workout and the Blue Raiders offense was buried in its own end much of that time.

Once Dasher returned, though, the Blue Raiders matched the Bulldogs yard for yard the remainder of the half, but couldn't capitalize on two trips deep into Mississippi State territory.

Dasher drove the Blue Raiders to the Bulldogs 1 on his first drive, but Mississippi State held them to no yards from there and they settled for a field goal.

Two drives later Taylor hit a couple of big passes and brought MTSU all the way to the Mississippi State 7. But again the Bulldogs held and forced another short kick from Alan Gendreau, who tied his own school record with his eighth consecutive field goal.

He wouldn't get any more chances, though, after Mississippi State's defense locked down on MTSU in the second half. Corey Broomfield ended two drives with interceptions while filling in for injured starter Marcus Washington and Johnathan Banks picked off Dasher to finish another threat. Then Banks picked up the Bulldogs' fourth interception when he stepped in front of a Sancho McDonald pass on a trick play, setting up Dixon's last touchdown.



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