Drive Chart
MIAOH
MISSST

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Blocked FG helps Mississippi State hold off Miami 17-16

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Mississippi State's sideline erupted in celebration, relieved to escape with a victory to end a challenging season.

Nick Fitzgerald rushed for 142 yards and two touchdowns in another strong performance by the dual-threat quarterback; however, the heavily favored Bulldogs had to block a field goal in the closing seconds to hold off Miami (Ohio) 17-16 in the St. Petersburg Bowl on Monday.

''Great game. Not exactly how we drew it up,'' coach Dan Mullen said after defensive tackle Nelson Adams got a hand on Nick Dowd's potential game-winning kick that would have helped Miami finish a stunning turnaround from a 0-6 start to the season to a winning record.

Instead, both the Bulldogs (6-7) and the RedHawks (6-7), who won six straight games to become bowl eligible , finished with losing marks.

''You know what, it's been an interesting year. We've battled. Throughout the year we've lost some tough games on the final play of the game,'' Mullen said. ''I told the guys in the locker room afterward, we're here because we didn't give up. We found a way to go make that final play. Even though we missed a lot of opportunities, we made the final play when it mattered.''

Fitzgerald, who led the Southeastern Conference in total offense, scored on runs of 2 and 44 yards on the way to his eighth 100-yard rushing performance of the season. The redshirt sophomore also completed 13 of 26 passes for 126 yards.

Gus Ragland threw for 257 yards and two touchdowns for Miami. He also threw his first interception of the season early in the fourth quarter, and Mississippi State turned the mistake into a 36-yard field goal that put the Bulldogs ahead with 12:03 remaining.

''We were one play ahead of them for most of the game, if not more than one, but they were one play ahead of us at the end,'' Miami coach Chuck Martin said. ''We had opportunities. When you look at it, it didn't need to come down to that last kick, but it did. They made one more play than us. Tough way to end. That's sports, and that's competition.''

The RedHawks drove the ball deep into Bulldogs territory on their next two possessions, turning the ball over on downs at the Mississippi State 32 midway through the fourth quarter and reaching the 17 before Dowd had his kick blocked with 5 seconds left.

James Gardner and Ryan Smith caught TD passes for Miami, which also had an extra-point blocked in the opening half.

''We had noticed on film that the kicker kind of did line drives. All that was going through my head was get your hands up as quick as you can,'' Adams said. ''It's been a tough year for us. The only thing going through my mind was make a play, make something happen, and that's what I did.''

TAKEAWAY

While there's a tendency to minimize the importance of games played before New Year's weekend, Mississippi State and Miami both felt fortunate to be in St. Petersburg for Christmas. The Bulldogs had a losing record for the first time since 2009 - Mullen's first season in Starkville - but qualified for a postseason berth because of the program's NCAA Academic Progress Rate.

Miami's rebound from a poor start was one of the feel-good stories of the year. Finishing in a bowl game against an SEC opponent attracted additional national attention for the RedHawks and also figures to help in recruiting.

''Like I told the guys a couple of weeks ago, if we invited Mississippi State down to spring practice to scrimmage us for 60 minutes, I don't think they'd come. So a pretty good opportunity for Miami football to play Mississippi State and go against some guys that don't look like the guys we normally go against,'' Martin said. ''I thought our kids definitely took advantage of that and made the most of today.''

PERSEVERANCE

Miami became the first team in NCAA history to start 0-6 and finish the regular season 6-6. The senior class that entered school in 2013 had a 5-37 record before the RedHawks began their six-game winning streak in mid-October.

''They should put statues of those guys outside of our stadium,'' Ragland said.

UP NEXT

Miami: The turnaround following the 0-6 start carried the RedHawks to a share of the MAC East Division title and provides a solid foundation to build on next season with 13 starters returning, including Ragland. Gardner had an outstanding sophomore season as well, finishing with 45 receptions for 750 yards and six TDs.

Mississippi State: Despite finishing with a losing record for only the second time in eight seasons under Mullen, the Bulldogs think they have a promising future with Fitzgerald at quarterback. In addition to throwing for 2,413 yards and 21 touchdowns, the sophomore rushed for 1,385 yards and 16 TDs after beginning his career as a backup behind Dak Prescott.

---

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Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.

Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 12:09
25-W.Graves 36 yards Field Goal is Good.
9
plays
35
yds
02:40
pos
16
17
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 4:15
25-W.Graves extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
16
14
Touchdown 4:15
7-N.Fitzgerald runs 44 yards for a touchdown.
9
plays
82
yds
03:50
pos
16
13
Point After TD 8:11
97-N.Dowd extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
16
7
Touchdown 8:11
14-G.Ragland complete to 82-R.Smith. 82-R.Smith runs 1 yard for a touchdown.
9
plays
95
yds
04:24
pos
15
7
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 0:22
25-W.Graves extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
9
7
Touchdown 0:22
7-N.Fitzgerald runs 2 yards for a touchdown.
9
plays
64
yds
02:53
pos
9
6
Missed Point After Touchdown 8:36
97-N.Dowd extra point is no good. blocked by 16-J.Calvin.
plays
yds
pos
9
0
Touchdown 8:36
14-G.Ragland complete to 81-J.Gardner. 81-J.Gardner runs 6 yards for a touchdown.
8
plays
66
yds
04:54
pos
9
0
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 10:11
97-N.Dowd 18 yards Field Goal is Good.
9
plays
-6
yds
04:43
pos
3
0
Team Stats
1st Downs 24 18
Rushing 12 9
Passing 11 7
Penalty 1 2
3rd Down Conv 3-9 7-14
4th Down Conv 1-3 0-2
Total Net Yards 440 335
Total Plays 66 60
Avg Gain 6.7 5.6
Net Yards Rushing 170 199
Rush Attempts 35 33
Avg Rush Yards 4.9 6.0
Net Yards Passing 270 136
Comp. - Att. 22-31 13-27
Yards Per Pass 8.7 5.0
Sacked - Yards Lost 1-7 0-0
Penalties - Yards 3-30 2-25
Touchdowns 2 2
Rushing TDs 0 2
Passing TDs 2 0
Other 0 0
Turnovers 2 0
Fumbles - Lost 1-1 0-0
Int. Thrown 1 0
Punts - Avg 2-39.5 4-42.5
Return Yards 40 101
Punts - Returns 0-0 1-7
Kickoffs - Returns 1-40 3-73
Int. - Returns 0-0 1-21
Kicking 2/4 3/3
Extra Points 1/2 2/2
Field Goals 1/2 1/1
Safeties 0 0
1234T
Miami (Ohio) 6-7 367016
Miss. St. 6-7 077317
270 PASS YDS 136
170 RUSH YDS 199
440 TOTAL YDS 335
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
G. Ragland 14 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
73.3% 263 2 1 162.3
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
65.6% 1800 19 2 166.0
G. Ragland 22/30 263 2 1
R. Williams 6 WR
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
0% 0 0 0 0.0
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
0% 0 0 0 0.0
R. Williams 0/1 0 0 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
K. Young 3 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
9 67 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
97 624 2
K. Young 9 67 0 16
G. Ragland 14 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
17 51 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
101 253 2
G. Ragland 17 51 0 20
M. Thomas 31 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
3 33 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
40 291 0
M. Thomas 3 33 0 18
A. Smith 26 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
4 20 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
167 729 3
A. Smith 4 20 0 11
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
J. Gardner 81 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
5 92 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
50 842 7
J. Gardner 5 92 1 24
R. Smith 82 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
7 72 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
38 428 6
R. Smith 7 72 1 21
R. Williams 6 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 38 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
30 539 3
R. Williams 4 38 0 12
K. Young 3 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 29 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
20 230 2
K. Young 3 29 0 25
J. Murphy 88 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 20 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
44 572 5
J. Murphy 1 20 0 20
A. Zielinski 84 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 6 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 24 0
A. Zielinski 1 6 0 6
M. Thomas 31 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 6 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
12 111 0
M. Thomas 1 6 0 6
S. Shisso 10 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
10 155 3
S. Shisso 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
T. Reid 14 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
10-3 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
10-3 2 0.0
T. Reid 10-3 0.0 0
J. Jones 91 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
7-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-1 0 0.0
J. Jones 7-1 0.0 0
B. Koenig 38 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-5 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-5 1 0.0
B. Koenig 6-5 0.0 0
J. McMullen 5 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-1 0 0.0
J. McMullen 6-1 0.0 0
D. Montgomery 21 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 4 0.0
D. Montgomery 3-1 0.0 0
D. Costin 58 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
D. Costin 2-0 0.0 0
H. Harding 24 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 4 0.0
H. Harding 2-0 0.0 0
B. Okafor 30 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
B. Okafor 2-0 0.0 0
B. Birdsall 28 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
B. Birdsall 1-0 0.0 0
M. Duffin 94 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
M. Duffin 1-0 0.0 0
A. Gearing 11 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
A. Gearing 1-1 0.0 0
N. Trawick 96 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
N. Trawick 1-1 0.0 0
Q. Calcagno 92 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
Q. Calcagno 0-1 0.0 0
D. Daniels 15 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 1 0.0
D. Daniels 0-1 0.0 0
A. Burdine 69 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
A. Burdine 0-1 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
N. Dowd 97 K
IN-GAME FG XP
1/2 1/2
SEASON FG XP
11/15 31/37
N. Dowd 1/2 18 1/2 4
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
K. Kramer 9 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
2 39.5 0
SEASON NO AVG IN20
32 41.6 0
K. Kramer 2 39.5 0 44
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
M. Thomas 31 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 40.0 40 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
24 24.8 40 0
M. Thomas 1 40.0 40 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
N. Fitzgerald 7 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
50% 136 0 0 93.9
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
54.3% 2423 21 10 124.3
N. Fitzgerald 13/26 136 0 0
Da. Williams 11 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
0% 0 0 0 0.0
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
64.6% 272 2 0 125.9
Da. Williams 0/1 0 0 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
N. Fitzgerald 7 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
18 132 2
SEASON ATT YDS TD
195 1375 16
N. Fitzgerald 18 132 2 44
A. Williams 27 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
12 64 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
149 784 4
A. Williams 12 64 0 18
M. Dear 22 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 3 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
17 124 1
M. Dear 1 3 0 3
A. Shumpert 32 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 2 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
56 259 1
A. Shumpert 1 2 0 2
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
F. Ross 8 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 44 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
76 961 12
F. Ross 4 44 0 19
A. Williams 27 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 24 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
8 69 0
A. Williams 1 24 0 24
M. Dear 22 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 19 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
23 264 2
M. Dear 2 19 0 11
D. Gray 6 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 18 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
41 709 5
D. Gray 2 18 0 10
F. Green 82 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 13 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
11 121 1
F. Green 1 13 0 13
K. Mixon 23 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 11 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
19 228 2
K. Mixon 1 11 0 11
Ju. Johnson 81 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 8 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
5 34 0
Ju. Johnson 1 8 0 8
J. Thomas 83 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
9 48 1
J. Thomas 0 0 0 0
B. Holloway 10 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 -1 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
15 91 0
B. Holloway 1 -1 0 -1
Defense T-A SACK INT
L. Lewis 44 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
7-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-0 0 0.0
L. Lewis 7-0 0.0 0
R. Brown 39 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-3 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-3 0 0.0
R. Brown 5-3 0.0 0
C. Jiles 5 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 1 0.0
C. Jiles 4-0 0.0 0
B. Bryant 1 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-2 1 0.0
B. Bryant 4-2 0.0 0
J. Peters 2 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 2 0.0
J. Peters 3-0 0.0 0
J. Graham 9 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 4 0.0
J. Graham 3-0 0.0 1
F. Adams 43 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
F. Adams 3-0 0.0 0
L. Durr 25 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
L. Durr 2-0 0.0 0
N. James 88 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 1.0
N. James 2-0 1.0 0
K. Coman 11 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 2 0.0
K. Coman 2-0 0.0 0
D. Ward 28 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 1 0.0
D. Ward 2-1 0.0 0
B. Hoyett 95 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
B. Hoyett 2-1 0.0 0
G. Green 4 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
G. Green 2-0 0.0 0
T. Jung 3 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
T. Jung 2-0 0.0 0
C. Thomas 34 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
C. Thomas 2-0 0.0 0
J. Simmons 98 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
J. Simmons 2-0 0.0 0
M. McLaurin 41 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 2 0.0
M. McLaurin 1-0 0.0 0
J. Calvin 16 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 1 0.0
J. Calvin 1-0 0.0 0
J. Gray 12 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
J. Gray 1-0 0.0 0
C. Rayford 24 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
C. Rayford 1-0 0.0 0
T. Dale 49 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
T. Dale 1-0 0.0 0
W. Coleman 57 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
W. Coleman 1-0 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
W. Graves 25 K
IN-GAME FG XP
1/1 2/2
SEASON FG XP
11/19 48/49
W. Graves 1/1 36 2/2 5
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
L. Cooke 43 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
4 42.5 2
SEASON NO AVG IN20
48 40.2 2
L. Cooke 4 42.5 2 52
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
B. Holloway 10 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
3 24.3 37 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
16 23.1 37 0
B. Holloway 3 24.3 37 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
F. Ross 8 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 7.0 7 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
16 5.8 7 0
F. Ross 1 7.0 7 0
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:54 MIAOH 41 4:43 9 -6 FG
7:47 MIAOH 12 1:27 4 16 Punt
4:19 MIAOH 20 4:10 8 53
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 MISSST 27 0:00 1 12 FUMBLE
13:30 MIAOH 34 4:54 8 66 TD
4:54 MIAOH 34 1:28 3 2 Punt
0:22 MIAOH 28 0:00 1 0
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:35 MIAOH 15 4:24 9 85 TD
4:15 MIAOH 25 3:54 7 45
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:03 MIAOH 25 4:57 10 43
3:29 MIAOH 22 3:15 9 -2 FG Miss
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
10:00 MISSST 18 2:05 4 28 Punt
6:12 MISSST 28 1:43 5 20 Punt
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:50 MISSST 17 1:13 3 5 Punt
8:29 MISSST 42 3:30 9 24
3:15 MISSST 36 2:53 9 64 TD
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 MISSST 25 2:19 7 28 Punt
8:05 MISSST 18 3:50 9 82 TD
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:49 MISSST 30 2:40 9 51 FG
7:01 MISSST 33 3:23 8 45
0:05 MISSST 20 0:00 1 -2