September 24, 2011

State survives overtime scare

STARKVILLE, Miss., - Mississippi State survived an overtime scare Saturday night as Chris Relf found LaDarius Perkins for a 17-yard game-winning touchdown for a 26-20 victory over Louisiana Tech.

MSU's defense came up with two interceptions on Tech's final two possessions to avoid the upset.

"I'll watch the film and be disappointed maybe but I'm not disappointed right now, I'm thrilled," said State head coach Dan Mullen. "It's hard to win a Division-I football game. Go ask the 60 teams that lost today how hard it is to win. That's a huge win for us and a huge momentum builder for our guys. It gets us back on track where we need to be.

"I still think there are some things that we can do better but in the end we made the big plays that we needed to make to win the game."

State (2-2) picked up 340 yards of offense on the night with a balanced attack of 176 yards rushing and 164 yards through the air.

Relf completed 14-of-29 passing for 164 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also rushed nine times for 20 yards.

"I don't think Chris played his best game tonight at all," Mullen said. "But I will give him credit, he stayed in there under pressure and threw the game-winning touchdown pass in overtime. Fifteen years from now people are going to remember the game-winning touchdown in overtime, not the other ones."

Vick Ballard led the ground game for Mississippi State with 17 carries for 68 yards and a score while Perkins added 47 yards on a dozen totes.

Chris Smith was the top receiver for MSU grabbing three passes for 31 yards.



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