Tigers Drop Season Opener, 30-10 To Mississippi State
Go Tigers! Ryan Johnson returns a punt return during the second quarter.
Go Tigers!
Ryan Johnson returns a punt return during the second quarter.
Go Tigers!

Sept 3, 2001

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By RALPH D. RUSSO
AP Sports Writer

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Dicenzo Miller had 167 total yards and two touchdowns and No. 18 Mississippi State scored on five straight second-half possessions to beat Memphis 30-10 Monday night in the season opener for both teams.

The Bulldogs defeated the Tigers for the eighth straight time, but were sloppy and careless for the first 35 minutes, turning the ball over three times and committing numerous penalties.

Glenn Sumter returned a Bulldogs' fumble 74 yards to set up Travis Anglin's 18-yard touchdown pass to Bunkie Perkins that gave Memphis a 10-0 lead at 10:44 of the third quarter.

The Bulldogs, ranked in the preseason for the first time since 1993, finally responded two possessions later.

Wayne Madkin hit Miller sneaking out of the backfield without a Memphis defender in sight. Miller received a downfield escort from Clarence Parker and dived headlong into the end zone for a 49-yard score at 4:34 of the third.

Madkin, who lost two fumbles in the first half, was 12-of-21 for 174 yards and two touchdowns.

Miller ran 12 times for 108 yards and caught two passes for 59.

The Bulldogs' defense forced a punt on Memphis' next possession after Miller's touchdown and the special teams gave Mississippi State its first lead of the season.

Curtis Stowers broke through the middle of the Tigers' line and blocked James Gaither's punt. Nathan Jackson picked up the ball on one hop and walked in from 6 yards out to put the Bulldogs up 14-10 late in the third.

Another three-and-out by Memphis sent the home crowd into a frenzy. The Bulldogs followed with a 53-yard touchdown drive, capped by Miller's 6-yard touchdown run with 10:18 left to make it 21-10.

 

 

Madkin hit Justin Jenkins, who had a fumble and costly drop earlier, for a 22-yard touchdown, and John Michael Marlin's 24-yard field goal completed the onslaught with 5:40 left in the game.

Memphis' new spread offense managed just 162 yards. Anglin, an elusive quarterback in the mold of Clemson's Woody Dantzler, ran for 36 yards on 16 carries and was 6-of-7 for 56 yards.

Ryan White's 33-yard field goal was the only scoring of a brutal first half.

It was Mississippi State's first regular-season Monday night game in 85 years.

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