Bulldogs defeat No. 8 Auburn 23-9

Mississippi State rushed for 349 yards in the victory.

Posted: Oct 6, 2018 10:52 PM
Updated: Oct 6, 2018 10:52 PM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics/WTVA) - A near-unstoppable ground game and a record-setting day by Nick Fitzgerald propelled Mississippi State back into the win column Saturday night, with the Bulldogs notching a 23-9 victory over No. 8 Auburn at Davis Wade Stadium.

The Bulldogs (4-2, 1-2 SEC) relied on a smash mouth approach to down the Tigers (4-2, 1-2), gashing AU on the ground for 349 yards led by Nick Fitzgerald's 195 that helped him pass Tim Tebow as the Southeastern Conference's all-time leading rusher among quarterbacks. Fitzgerald found the end zone for both of MSU's touchdowns on the night.

MSU also dominated time of possession, controlling the ball for 41 minutes, 53 seconds compared to Auburn's 18 minutes, seven seconds.

And, defensively, it was bend-but-don't-break night for the Bulldogs, who limited Auburn to 304 yards of total offense and just three field goals, coming up big on many occasions, including holding the Tigers to just 4-of-17 on third- and fourth-down conversions combined.

After teams traded field goals for much of the first half, the Bulldogs found pay dirt first as time expired in the second quarter with a one-yard score on a Fitzgerald quarterback draw up the middle to give State a 13-3 lead at the half.

Jace Christmann added his third field goal of the contest with 6:55 left in the third to cap off a 13-play drive that lasted over eight minutes and gave the Bulldogs a commanding 16-3 advantage.

The Tigers would try to chip away at State's lead with a Carlson kick to make it 16-6. Auburn looked to shrink the gap even further, threatening late in the third, but Mark McLaurin stripped a would-be Tiger touchdown out of the arms of Whitlow. Kobe Jones wrapped up the ball in the end zone for a touchback that ended the threat.

Carlson added his third field goal of the night with 11:24 remaining to cut MSU's lead to 16-9, hitting from 24 yards out. The Tigers would block an MSU field goal try on the ensuing drive and start in MSU territory after an MSU penalty on the play. But State's defense stood strong, holding AU to one first down on the drive and forced a turnover on downs.

On the next drive, Fitzgerald sealed the deal for the Maroon and White with his second score of the day, this one from 21 yards out with just over two minutes remaining to put State's lead up to a commanding 23-9.

McLaurin led the Bulldogs with 10 total tackles on the night, while Montez Sweat sacked Tiger signal-caller Jarrett Stidham three times, including one forced fumble. That sack total matched Sweat's career high set in the 2017 TaxSlayer Bowl win against Louisville.

Kylin Hill also eclipsed the 100-yard mark on Saturday, scampering for 126 yards on 23 attempts.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 149940

Reported Deaths: 3779
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10097104
Hinds9984199
Harrison7116110
Jackson6360119
Rankin5588103
Lee509195
Madison4799106
Forrest383186
Jones357688
Lauderdale3496147
Lafayette326051
Washington3179107
Lamar291550
Oktibbeha245462
Bolivar241384
Lowndes237364
Panola222350
Neshoba2206118
Marshall217250
Leflore205590
Pontotoc199928
Monroe198177
Sunflower191655
Lincoln190865
Warren176857
Tate169851
Union167325
Copiah164140
Pike162658
Yazoo156039
Scott154829
Itawamba152935
Pearl River152167
Alcorn151328
Coahoma150543
Simpson148353
Prentiss146230
Adams141950
Grenada140945
Leake134944
Holmes130861
George125524
Tippah125230
Covington123439
Winston122224
Hancock121139
Wayne117923
Marion116646
Attala113034
Tishomingo109442
Chickasaw107632
Newton105629
Tallahatchie97027
Clay91327
Clarke90553
Jasper82822
Stone77014
Walthall76928
Calhoun75513
Montgomery74525
Carroll72415
Lawrence71814
Smith71316
Yalobusha71327
Noxubee71017
Perry67026
Tunica61019
Greene60322
Claiborne58616
Jefferson Davis57017
Amite54014
Humphreys53619
Benton49318
Quitman4927
Webster44314
Kemper43618
Wilkinson39822
Jefferson35211
Franklin3395
Choctaw3357
Sharkey30917
Issaquena1164
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 244993

Reported Deaths: 3572
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson32314500
Mobile19859361
Madison13223148
Tuscaloosa13049154
Montgomery12342236
Shelby1031577
Baldwin873398
Lee775766
Morgan662650
Calhoun6301119
Etowah627666
Marshall627255
Houston525638
DeKalb485536
Cullman439442
Limestone425145
St. Clair419555
Lauderdale407854
Elmore406864
Walker3657111
Talladega351454
Jackson320423
Colbert311942
Blount292240
Autauga273542
Franklin252633
Coffee245415
Dale232654
Dallas226232
Chilton223438
Russell22193
Covington218934
Escambia198331
Chambers176850
Tallapoosa176391
Pike158614
Clarke158419
Marion140236
Winston133023
Lawrence127936
Pickens123518
Geneva12218
Marengo121524
Bibb117917
Barbour117310
Butler116541
Randolph102921
Cherokee102224
Hale97031
Clay91924
Fayette91616
Washington91219
Henry8546
Lowndes79929
Monroe78911
Cleburne77214
Macon73722
Crenshaw71130
Bullock69619
Perry6886
Conecuh68414
Lamar6798
Wilcox63518
Sumter58122
Greene42618
Choctaw42213
Coosa3444
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