Mississippi State scraps together ugly 24-17 win over Vandy

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Photo courtesy of Mississippi State athletics
  • Story by SportsTalk Mississippi’s Brian Hadad 

It was in no way aesthetically pleasing, but it was enough for Mississippi State to get out of a losing streak. The Bulldogs rode five turnovers from their defense to a 24-17 win over Vanderbilt, a game that saw Mike Leach’s offense outgained by the previously hapless Commodores by 274 yards. Will Rogers got the win in his first career start, completing 35-46 passes for 226 yards and a touchdown.

State got off to a quick 14-0 lead, but the offense ground to a halt, mustering only 3 points for the remainder of the game until a late Vandy fumble deep in their own territory led to a Jo’quavious Marks run with 2:43 to go. Marks set freshmen and running back records in this game, hauling his 38th pass of the season for a school record. Rogers hit 8 different receivers on the night, setting a school freshman record for completions in one game.

Defensively, Zack Arnett’s group struggled in the second half as a result of the offense’s ineptitude but made big plays throughout the contest. State picked off three Ken Seals passes and forced two fumbles to provide the winning margin. The biggest play of the game might have been senior linebacker Erroll Thompson’s end zone snag to stop a Commodore drive inside the five yard line.

State improves on the season to 2-4, snapping a four-game losing streak and scoring three more offensive points than they had in those previous games combined. The Bulldogs will take on Auburn next Saturday, kickoff is scheduled for 3 PM at Davis Wade Stadium.

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