STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Nick Fitzgerald threw for 241 yards and two touchdowns and ran for two more scores to lead Mississippi State over No. 16 Texas A&M 28-13 on Saturday night.
Mississippi State (5-3, 2-3 Southeastern Conference) won thanks to an unexpected boost from its passing game, which was among the least productive in the SEC coming into the night. One week after throwing four interceptions in a miserable loss to LSU, Fitzgerald completed 14 of 22 passes, including several big gains that swung the game in favor of the Bulldogs.
The biggest might have been a 84-yard strike to Stephen Guidry on third-and-21 that set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Fitzgerald and gave the Bulldogs a 21-13 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Mississippi State’s defense was able to take it from there, and Erroll Thompson’s interception in the end zone with 2:36 remaining — along with Fitzgerald’s 76-yard touchdown run on the ensuing drive — sealed the victory.
Texas A&M (5-3, 3-2) had its three-game winning streak snapped. Kellen Mond completed 23 of 46 passes for 232 yards, one touchdown and one interception. The Aggies had just 61 yards rushing.
Mississippi State’s surprising ability to throw the ball started on the opening drive. Fitzgerald completed 6 of 7 passes for 59 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown to Stephen Guidry for a 7-0 lead. It was the team’s first passing touchdown in more than four SEC games.
Texas A&M rallied to take a 10-7 lead into halftime but didn’t score a touchdown in the second half. The Aggies might have had more success in the first half, but several dropped passes hurt promising drives.
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