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: 319704

Reported Deaths: 7369
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22276267
Hinds20677421
Harrison18407317
Rankin13880282
Jackson13689248
Madison10249224
Lee10056176
Jones8464167
Forrest7827153
Lauderdale7260242
Lowndes6509150
Lamar634888
Lafayette6310121
Washington5420137
Bolivar4837133
Panola4669110
Oktibbeha466098
Pearl River4604147
Marshall4573105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425373
Union415777
Monroe4155135
Neshoba4061179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386687
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3369111
Alcorn325972
Scott320174
Yazoo314171
Adams307486
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298189
Tippah291968
Prentiss283861
Leake271974
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George252051
Newton248663
Tishomingo231568
Winston229981
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190374
Clay187854
Stone187833
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164034
Walthall135347
Greene131833
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127138
Amite126342
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108033
Tunica108027
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69532
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548323

Reported Deaths: 11288
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson809531565
Mobile42066826
Madison35663525
Tuscaloosa26162458
Shelby25595254
Montgomery25081612
Baldwin21839313
Lee16265176
Calhoun14718325
Morgan14626285
Etowah14171363
Marshall12449230
Houston10764288
Elmore10295213
Limestone10182157
St. Clair10160251
Cullman9941201
Lauderdale9596249
DeKalb8967189
Talladega8458184
Walker7335280
Autauga7230113
Blount6944139
Jackson6922113
Colbert6414140
Coffee5627127
Dale4929114
Russell454941
Chilton4472116
Franklin431083
Covington4273122
Tallapoosa4136155
Escambia401780
Chambers3726124
Dallas3607156
Clarke352961
Marion3242106
Pike314078
Lawrence3129100
Winston283572
Bibb268464
Geneva257581
Marengo250665
Pickens236862
Barbour234659
Hale226878
Butler224071
Fayette218162
Henry193843
Cherokee187245
Randolph187044
Monroe179341
Washington170439
Macon162951
Clay160159
Crenshaw155657
Cleburne153244
Lamar146537
Lowndes142054
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh113430
Coosa111429
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93534
Choctaw62025
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 89°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
85° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 91°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
81° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 83°
Starkville
Partly Cloudy
82° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 86°
We continue to monitor a tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico. This will be in heavy rainfall two locations across the southeast over the course of the weekend, and flooding rainfall could be in tow as well. Things are looking better for Father’s Day itself, thankfully.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather