Bulldogs win Liberty Bowl before record crowd - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Bulldogs win Liberty Bowl before record crowd

Sylvester Croom and Mississippi State capped a turnaround season built on defense before a record setting crowd of 63,816 at the Liberty Bowl Saturday afternoon.

Anthony Dixon scored on a one-yard run with 1:54 remaining to secure the 10-3 win for Mississippi State.

In a game featuring very little offense and 17 punts, the Bulldogs kept Central Florida out of the end zone and held Smith to 119 yards.

South Panola High School standout Derek Pegues had two interceptions and Mississippi State kept Central Florida's Kevin Smith from breaking the single-season rushing record.

"He just threw it right to me both times, and I was lucky to catch the ball," Pegues said. "It goes along with the defensive line and the whole defense. They were able to get pressure and the coaches put me in the right position to make the play."

Kevin Smith finished 61 yards shy of Barry Sanders' single-season record of 2,628 yards set by Sanders when he played for Oklahoma State in 1988.

It was the lowest scoring Liberty Bowl since Penn State beat Tulane 9-6 in 1979.

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