STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Omarr Conner threw two of his career-high four touchdown passes to freshman Keon Humphries, and Mississippi State routed Murray State 38-6 tonight in a game played days after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the region. Jerious Norwood rushed for 123 yards on 16 carries for the Bulldogs, who outgained the Racers 482-to-229 and avoided losing to a Division One-Double-A team for the second straight season. Conner was 17-of-24 passing for 233 yards in two-and-a-half quarters with touchdowns to Humphries covering 49 and 34 yards.
The game's prelude had a somber tone: Instead of running onto the field, coach Sylvester Croom and the Bulldogs walked solemnly to the sideline, with their helmets under their right arms, and the scoreboard showed a tribute to Katrina's victims. Mississippi State officials said about two-thousand evacuees claimed free tickets to the game. Croom won his second straight opener at Mississippi State, but it had a vastly different feel than last year, when the nation was caught up in the buzz surrounding the debut of the first black head football coach in S-E-C history.
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)