#20 Bulldogs Rout Memphis 59-14 To Open 2011 Impressively
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Talk about ushering in the 2011 season in commanding fashion.
an offensive performance that netted a school-record 645 yards, No. 20
Mississippi State scored early and often en route to a lopsided 59-14
victory against Memphis in front a Liberty Bowl crowd of 33,990 to mark
its 12th-consecutive win in this series.
It was the Bulldogs'
widest margin of victory away from Scott Field since throttling Sewanee
in Jackson, Miss., 68-0 in 1936 and their largest since running past
South Carolina in Columbia, 38-0, in 1998.
Dating back to last
season in the Gator Bowl win against Michigan, it's also the first time
MSU has scored 50-plus points in back-to-back games since the 1914
But if there is a stat that stands out, it's 9.3 - as
in yards per play. Aiding that number was the fact five of the
Bulldogs' eight touchdowns were 35 or more yards.
The production was also balanced, as Bulldogs manufactured 309 yards on the ground and 336 through the air.
the ground assault was senior Vick Ballard, who totaled 166 yards on
just 10 carries, while scoring three touchdowns. Through the air, Chris
Relf was 13-of-21 passing for 202 yards and two touchdowns, while Tyler
Russell came off the bench to complete 5 of his 9 passes for another
138 yards and a score.
And it was Relf's arm that put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard early.
State's second possession, Relf connected with Chad Bumphis for a
44-yard scoring strike. Then on MSU's next drive, Ballard made it 14-0
on a 46-yard scamper.
He also scored on a 66-yard run to make it
31-7 with 1:51 left in the opening half, while his final touchdown was
the result of a 1-yard plunge with 8:35 to play in the third for a 38-7
Also doing his part to make the highlight reel was
redshirt freshman Jameon Lewis. The Tylertown native led the Bulldogs
with four receptions for 113 yards while scoring twice.
first touchdown came as the third quarter expired on a 19-yard end
around for a 45-7 lead. Then with 11:20 to play, he grabbed an 80-yard
pass from Russell to make it 52-14.
Russell, the former Meridian
standout, was also productive on the ground, as the Bulldogs' final
points were the result of his 26-yard bootleg with 2:41 to play.
MSU held the Tigers to 338 yards. Deontae Skinner was credited with a
team-high seven tackles, while Marvin Bure, Matthew Wells, Johnthan
Banks and Ferlando Bohanna each had five.
The Bulldogs, who are
now 3-0 in season openers under Dan Mullen and 79-31-2 all-time, return
to action at Auburn on Sept. 10 in an 11:20 a.m. showdown televised by
the SEC Network.