Tennessee win 33-21 over Miss. St.
Published 5:08 am Sunday, October 14, 2007
Eric Ainge threw for 259 yards and two touchdown passes and Lucas Taylor had career highs of 11 catches for 186 yards Saturday to lead No. 25 Tennessee to a 33-21 victory over Mississippi State.
The Volunteers (4-2, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) fell behind the Bulldogs (4-3, 1-3) 14-7 early, but Ainge hit Taylor for a 51-yard touchdown in the second quarter that started the rally and Arian Foster scored on a 1-yard run after a personal foul penalty in the third quarter to help Tennessee pull away.
Daniel Lincoln also made four field goals to nail down Tennessee’s third straight win and the fourth in its last five games.
Foster finished with 139 yards and Ainge was 22-for-36 with an interception. He moved past Andy Kelly into third place in career total yards at Tennessee.
Foster has rushed for 294 yards and five touchdowns during Tennessee’s winning streak.
Anthony Dixon rushed for 108 yards and a 31-yard touchdown that gave Mississippi State its early lead.
Tennessee pulled away in the drives that sandwiched halftime.
After holding Tennessee to a missed field goal attempt with 1:28 left in the first half with the score tied 14-14, Mississippi State tried to run out the clock.
Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer used his team’s two timeouts to stop the clock during the Bulldogs’ three-and-out drive. After a short punt, Ainge found Taylor for a 26-yard gain to Mississippi State’s 30 and Lincoln atoned for his miss with a 47-yard field goal that gave the Volunteers a 17-14 lead.
The Bulldogs appeared to force another Volunteers field goal try immediately after halftime, but De’Mon Glanton was penalized for a late hit at the goal line and Foster punched the ball in two plays later for a 24-14 lead.
Wes Carroll narrowed that lead to 24-21 on a 14-yard touchdown pass to Jamayel Smith on the next drive. But the Volunteers held the Bulldogs scoreless the rest of the way, allowing just 148 yards of total offense in the second half.
Carroll, a freshman who was diagnosed with a mild concussion at halftime, set a career-high 203 yards on 18 of 33 passing. He also threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Tony Burks.
The win puts Tennessee back in the SEC’s Eastern Division race after starting the season 1-2.
Mississippi State was looking for its fifth win in a season for the first time since 2000. The game was the first of three straight against ranked SEC opponents.