Tag Archives: Mississippi State Bulldogs

Iowa Defeats Mississippi State 27-22 in the Outback Bowl

(Tampa, FL) Safety Jake Gervase made an interception in the end zone to help preserve a late lead, and ball-hawking Iowa Hawkeyes beat No. 18 Mississippi State in the Outback Bowl 27-22 Tuesday.

Gervase also batted down an errant fourth-down pass to end the Bulldogs’ final drive at the Iowa 32 with 25 seconds left. Two earlier Mississippi State threats in the fourth quarter led to only three points.

The Hawkeyes totaled just 199 yards, with 75 coming on a touchdown pass from Nathan Stanley to Nick Easley, but they converted three takeaways into 17 points.

Stanley threw for 214 yards and three scores. The Hawkeyes won despite netting minus 15 yards rushing, and their three running backs totaled 4 yards in 15 carries.

Iowa (9-4) earned its biggest postseason victory since an Orange Bowl win over Georgia Tech to cap the 2009 season. Mississippi State (8-5) lost to a team outside the top 15 for the first time.

Trailing 24-19, the Bulldogs had a first down at the Iowa 1 early in the fourth quarter, but three quarterback draws lost 2 yards and they settled for a field goal.

They were again on the verge of taking the lead with nine minutes left, but receiver Stephen Guidry bobbled a pass in the end zone, and Gervase snatched it away. The Hawkeyes then drove 50 yards for a field goal to go up 27-22.

The Hawkeyes scored two touchdowns in 97 seconds for a 17-6 lead. The Bulldogs rallied with two touchdowns in 18 seconds to go up 19-17, with quarterback Nick Fitzgerald giving them the advantage on a nifty 33-yard touchdown run — his 100th career score rushing or passing.

But on their next possession, Fitzgerald’s tipped pass was intercepted by defensive lineman Chauncey Golston. Stanley then scrambled to convert a fourth and 1, and on the next play he hit Easley to put Iowa ahead to stay, 24-19.

The Hawkeyes won because they kept the game close early despite a slow start. They trailed only 6-0 after one quarter even though they had minus 8 yards and a 12-yard punt.

Mississippi State tried some trickery in the first quarter by throwing down the middle to quarterback Keytaon Thompson, but he dropped a potential touchdown pass and the Bulldogs settled for a field goal.

The Bulldogs had 90 yards in penalties while Iowa had none. Targeting and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on Mississippi State jump-started the Hawkeyes’ offense and led to a field goal for their first score. A 51-yard completion for the Bulldogs was negated by a holding penalty.

The Bulldogs, who allowed only 12 touchdowns in the regular season, gave up two in quick succession in the second quarter.

First Easley slipped several yards behind the secondary to catch Stanley’s long throw in stride. The touchdown pass was the 50th of Stanley’s career — and his longest. It was the longest play allowed by the Bulldogs this season.

Two snaps later, A.J. Epenesa’s strip sack of Fitzgerald gave the Hawkeyes the ball at the 13, and they scored on Ihmir Smith-Marsette’s touchdown catch for a 17-6 lead. The fumble lost was Fitzgerald’s first in 511 carries.

Iowa will likely finish in the Top 25 for only the second time in the past nine seasons. Coach Kirk Ferentz concluded his 20th season at Iowa and improved to 152-101, including 8-8 in bowl games.

The down-to-the-wire finish was a rarity for the Bulldogs, who had only one other game decided by fewer than 14 points.

Stanley will be a third-year starter returning to lead the 2019 Hawkeyes, who also will have their top three rushers back. They open the season Aug. 31 at home against Miami (Ohio).

With fifth-year senior Fitzgerald departing, the Bulldogs will have a new starting quarterback — possibly Thompson — when they open the 2019 season Aug. 31 in New Orleans against Louisiana.





Outback Bowl Matchup: Iowa vs. Mississippi State January 1 in Tampa

(Tampa, FL) The Iowa Hawkeyes and No. 18 Mississippi State Bulldogs will square-off for the first time in the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day in Tampa, bowl officials announced Sunday. Both teams are 8-4. It will be the first time these teams have played in 119+ seasons of their football history. It will also be the first appearance by Mississippi State in the Outback Bowl.

“We are thrilled to extend an invitation to Iowa and Mississippi State to play in this year’s Outback Bowl,” said Outback Bowl Chairman Todd Timmerman. “These are two quality teams that should produce a terrific match-up that fans are really going to enjoy watching on New Year’s Day. We look forward to hosting the Hawkeye and Bulldog teams and their fans, and ensure them they will have an amazing experience in the Tampa Bay area.”

“I am thrilled for our team and our tremendous group of seniors who have earned the opportunity to go out with a New Year’s Day bowl in the state of Florida,” MSU head coach Joe Moorhead said. “The Outback Bowl is the perfect destination for our team. I have always had tremendous respect for Coach Ferentz and his Iowa teams.”

“We are excited to accept a bid to our first Outback Bowl to cap off Joe Moorhead’s successful first season as our head football coach,” MSU Director of Athletics John Cohen said. “I want to congratulate our team and our coaching staff for earning our program’s ninth straight bowl appearance. This team featured college football’s best defense and demonstrated overall improvement throughout the year, as shown by winning four of its last five games, including a dominant win in a rivalry game to finish the regular season. Tampa is a great city, with an endless number of entertainment opportunities for our fans, and we always look forward to playing in an NFL stadium. I encourage our Bulldog family to pack Raymond James Stadium and send our senior class out the right way.”

“Our football team, coaches, and staff are excited to be invited to the 2019 Outback Bowl,” said Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz. “We know we will enjoy outstanding hospitality, and we know we will face a quality opponent from the SEC. This is a great reward for how hard our players have worked and the success they have enjoyed this season.”

The Outback Bowl will be played on January 1st at 12:00 PM ET at Raymond James Stadium.

For information on Outback Bowl events leading up to the game go to the bowl web site at www.outbackbowl.com.





Blocked Field Goal Gives Mississippi State17-16 Win Over Miami (OH) in St. Pete Bowl

(St. Petersburg, FL) Nelson Adams blocked Nick Dowd’s potential game winning field goal with 5 seconds left in the game lifting the Bulldogs to a dramatic 17-16 comeback win over Miami (OH) in the St. Petersburg Bowl Saturday afternoon at Tropicana Field.

The Red Hawks muzzled the Bulldogs offense for most of the game by slowing the pace and keeping Mississippi State out of their usual quick paced rhythm. Miami (OH) drove down the field on their opening possession but had to settle for an 18-yard field goal by Nick Dowd. Miami (OH) led 3-0 after the first quarter.

Quarterback Gus Ragland, completed a 6 yard touchdown pass to James Gardner midway through the second quarter to extend the Red Hawks lead to 9-0 after a blocked extra point. A sign of things to come at the end of the game.

Mississippi State (6-7) finally got on the board with :22 seconds left in the half when Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald bulldogged his way into the end zone from 2 yards out to pull his team within 9-7 at the midway break.

Gus Ragland led Miami (OH) (6-7) on an 8 play, 85-yard scoring drive early in the third quarter capping it off with a short, one-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Smith to make it 16-7.

The Bulldogs responded when QB Nick Fitzgerald broke to the outside and rumbled 44 yards for a touchdown pulling Mississippi State to within 16-14 with 4:15 left in the 3rd.

Early in the 4th quarter after Fitzgerald ran the ball 26 yards to the Miami (OH) 38. A hit to the head penalty by Deondre Daniels added an additional 15 yards setting up Westin Graves 36 yard field goal, which would prove to be the game winner.

Both starting quarterbacks were named game MVP’s. Bulldogs QB Nick Fitzgerald completed 13 of 26 passes for 126 yards and ran the ball 18 times for 142 yards. Red Hawks quarterback Gus Ragland went 21-29 for 257 yards and 2 touchdowns with 1 INT and rushed for 51 yards on 17 carries.

Both teams combined for 768 total yards, 4th highest in St. Pete Bowl history.

Post game comments from both head coaches are below:

Bowl Shots

Miami (OH) dropped their first six games of the season and then won six straight to become bowl eligible.

Today’s game was broadcast on ESPN with Dave LaMont, Rene Ingoglia and Chris Doering and on ESPN Radio.

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer and St. Petersburg resident Mike Alstott is the Honorary Game Chairman for this year’s St. Pete Bowl. He also took part in the opening coin toss.

38 current players in the NFL have played in the 8 previous St. Petersburg Bowls including Latavius Murray (Oakland Raiders), Blake Bortles (Jacksonville Jaguars), T.Y. Hilton (Indianapolis Colts) and Mohamed Sanu (Atlanta Falcons). In all, 133 players in the St. Pete Bowl have been drafted by NFL teams.

Mississippi State is the first SEC team to play in the St. Pete Bowl. Miami (OH) is the third MAC team to take part, the others Ball State in 2012 and Ohio in 2013.

Uniform shuffle: Miami University wore the visitor uniforms of red helmets, white jerseys and red pants. Mississippi State wore the home uniforms of all maroon helmets, jerseys and pants.




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