College Football

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Mississippi State crushes Rice in Liberty Bowl

Memphis, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Dak Prescott accounted for five touchdowns to lead the Mississippi State Bulldogs to a 44-7 victory over the Rice Owls in the Liberty Bowl.

Prescott completed 17-of-28 passes for 283 yards and three scores and carried the ball 14 times for 78 yards and two touchdowns. Jameon Lewis caught nine passes for 220 yards for the Bulldogs (7-6), who won their final three games.

Charles Ross rushed 10 times for 28 yards and a touchdown for Rice (10-4), which had a four-game win streak snapped. Taylor McHargue went 8-for-15 for 84 yards.

"It was a really dominating defensive effort. They (Rice) are a team that was one of the top rushing teams in the country, averaging over 200 yards rushing a game. We held them to 61 yards rushing and 145 total offense yards. It was just a very smothering effort by our defense. We gave up an early drive off a turnover and after that, that was about it," said Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen.

On its second possession, which came after a Mississippi State turnover, Rice faced 4th-and-1 at the Bulldogs' 36-yard line before Luke Turner ran 13 yards for the first down.

Three plays later, an 18-yard completion from McHargue to Dennis Parks brought the Owls inside the Bulldogs' 10-yard line. Back-to-back rushes by Ross got Rice on the board first, the last coming from a yard out.

The Bulldogs' next drive saw Prescott connect with Lewis for 28 yards on 3rd- and-11 to bring Mississippi State down to the Owls' 11-yard line. Two plays later, Prescott completed a 10-yard pass to LaDarius Perkins for a tying touchdown with 2:01 left in first quarter.

After Rice went three-and-out at the end of the quarter, Mississippi State drove 64 yards on 10 plays to take the lead when Ashton Shumpert charged through the line for a 1-yard touchdown.

The drive was highlighted by a 35-yard completion to Lewis on 3rd-and-3 two plays before the score.

"It was the game plan, the game plan worked. I was just happy that Dak [Prescott] kept finding me. I am thankful to the coaches for putting me in the right situation to make plays for this team," said Lewis.

Another stalled Owl possession led to a Mississippi State 7-play, 64-yard drive that ended with a 13-yard touchdown catch by Malcolm Johnson with 4:32 to play in the first half. However, Rice blocked the extra point to make the score 20-7 Bulldogs.

With 1:25 left in the half, Mississippi State took over on its own 45. The Bulldogs drove 55 yards on five plays for another Prescott touchdown pass, with Artimas Samuel on the receiving end of the 4-yard toss to give the Bulldogs a 27-7 halftime lead.

On Mississippi State's second possession of the second half, Josh Robinson ran 40 yards to bring the Bulldogs to the Owls' 5-yard line. Prescott rushed for a score on the next play.

The next Bulldogs drive lasted four plays and ended with another Prescott touchdown. A 23-yard completion to Lewis and a 26-yard pass to De'Runnya Wilson led to Prescott's 11-yard touchdown run that extended the lead to 41-7.

The Bulldogs scored the last points of the game with 4:45 to play, when Taylor Earhart kicked through a 20-yard field goal to cap a 7-play, 28-yard drive.

Game Notes

Rice has not been shut out since 2000, a span of 159 games ... The Bulldogs are 3-1 all-time in the Liberty Bowl ... Mississippi State outgained Rice by a 533-145 margin in total yards.

01/01 00:06:52 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 91
CHI 86
Final
DUR 6
NOR 9
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
Final
CIN 4
PIT 0
Final
BAL 3
TAM 0
Final
NYY 3
CHC 0
Final
MIL 5
STL 1
Final
ARI 2
NYM 5
Final
PHI 0
ATL 1
Final
NYY 2
CHC 0
Final
DET 2
CLE 3
Final
MIA 3
WAS 6
Final
TEX 3
SEA 2
Final
CWS 4
BOS 6
Final
HOU 4
KAN 6
8:10pm Wednesday
MIN 0
TOR 0
Final
ANA 5
OAK 4
Final
SDP 4
COL 2
Final
SFG 2
LOS 1
1:05pm Today
PHI
ATL
 
1:08pm Today
DET
CLE
 
1:10pm Today
MIN
TOR
 
2:05pm Today
TEX
SEA
 
3:45pm Today
SFG
LOS
 
6:40pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
STL
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIN
TOR
 
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
BOS
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
KAN
 
Final
CHA 91
CHI 86
Final
ORL 86
IND 101
Final
MIL 103
ATL 111
Final
CLE 114
BRK 85
Final
MEM 106
DAL 105
Final
OKC 112
DET 111
Final
NOP 105
HOU 100
Final
SAN 100
LAL 113
Final
MIA 87
PHI 100
Final
NYK 95
TOR 92
Final
MIN 130
UTA 136
Final
BOS 102
WAS 118
Final
DEN 112
GSW 116
Final
POR 110
LAC 104
Final
SAC 99
PHO 104
Final
TAM 4
MON 5
Final
PIT 4
CLB 3
Final
ANA 4
DAL 3
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
PHI
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CHI
9:30pm Tonight
COL
MIN
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
LOS
Final
DUR 6
NOR 9
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR