Dixon breaks through to put MSU over UAB

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Anthony Dixon, who lost his starting job this week, rushed for 152 yards and three second-half touchdowns Saturday as Mississippi State beat Alabama-Birmingham 30-13.

The win gives the Bulldogs (4-2) four victories in a season for the first time since 2000.

Freshman Wes Carroll led Mississippi State on its decisive touchdown drives after being lifted for Michael Henig in the first quarter. Carroll started the game for Henig, who was playing with a broken throwing hand.

He clearly struggled against the Blazers (1-4), finishing 2-for-8 for 26 yards and two interceptions.

Carroll returned in the second half and led Mississippi State on touchdown drives of 75, 80 and 60 yards. Carroll was 9-of-12 for 94 yards and converted three third downs to keep the drives alive.

Dixon, limited to 19 yards on six carries in the first half, ran 26 times for 133 yards and scores of 1, 1 and 12 yards. After starting the first five games, he was demoted to second team by coach Sylvester Croom. New starter Christian Ducre finished with eight carries for 20 yards.

Mississippi State scored on three of its first four possessions to open the second half and capped the comeback with a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown by Anthony Johnson in the final two minutes.

UAB led 13-9 after three quarters. But the Blazers, who rank 115th in the NCAA in total defense, could not get a fourth-quarter stop.

Sam Hunt was 15-of-34 for 222 yards and Frantrell Forest caught seven passes for 119 yards for the Blazers.

The pair helped UAB build a 10-3 halftime lead by connecting on a 31-yard touchdown pass late in the second quarter. The score capped the only serious offensive series by either team in the first half.

The Bulldogs managed only 50 yards in total offense and turned the ball over twice in the first half before turning to Carroll and Dixon.

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