A Good Defense Can Win Games
Or maybe just special teams, but Monday afternoon it was a blocked Field Goal that sent Mississippi State home Winners.
Nick Fitzgerald rushed for 142 yards and two touchdowns and Mississippi State held off Miami (Ohio) 17-16 with help from a blocked field goal in the closing seconds of the St. Petersburg Bowl on Monday.
Nelson Adams got a hand on Nick Dowd’s potential game-winning 37-yard field goal that would have helped Miami finish a stunning turnaround from a 0-6 start to the season to a winning record.
Instead, both the Bulldogs (6-7) and RedHawks (6-7) finished with losing marks.
Fitzgerald, who led the Southeastern Conference in total offense, scored on runs of 2 and 44 yards on the way to his eighth 100-yard rushing performance of the season. The redshirt sophomore also completed 13 of 26 passes for 126 yards.
Gus Ragland threw for 257 yards and two touchdowns for Miami. He also threw his first interception of the season early in the fourth quarter, and Mississippi State turned the mistake into a 36-yard field goal that put the Bulldogs ahead with 12:03 remaining.