Tigers Lose Peach Bowl, 17-7


by - Correspondent -
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ATLANTA, GA - Mississippi State's defense brought plenty of attitude and a hefty reputation to the Peach Bowl, but it was its offense that provided the punch that knocked out Clemson, 17-7, Thursday night at the Georgia Dome. The Bulldogs scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to put away the Tigers in front of 73,315. Clemson moved the ball in the first half against Mississippi States defense, which came in ranked No. 1 in the nation. However, it was the Bulldogs that figured out a way to score after the teams went scoreless in the first half. The Bulldogs broke the scoreless tie with a field goal on their first drive of the second half. Dwayne Robertson returned the kickoff to the Mississippi State 46. Wayne Madkin completed passes of 18 and 13 yards to Decenzo Miller to set up a 39-yard field goal by Scott Westerfield with 12:39 left in the third quarter. Midway through the third quarter, Clemson moved the ball to the Mississippi State 13 before facing fourth-and-7. After having one field goal blocked, Clemson coach Tommy Bowden decided to go for it, but Streeters pass was knocked down at the line of scrimmage. Streeter, throwing from near his own end zone, was intercepted late in the third quarter by Eugene Clinton at the Clemson 43. It took Mississippi State 13 plays and a questionable pass interference call, but Madkin scrambled left for a 2-yard touchdown run that put the Bulldogs up 10-0 with 11:40 left in the game Mississippi States Wayne Madkin tossed a 12-yard screen pass to Dontae Walker with 4:30 left in the game. Brandon Streeter scored on a 1-yard sneak with 8:15 left to pull the Tigers within three at 10-7.

The Tigers drive was kept alive by a roughing the punter penalty, but took advantage of it by quickly moving 46 yards for the score. Streeter completed consecutive passes to Rod Gardner that covered 29 yards. However, Mississippi State put the game away with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Madkin to Dantae Waler with 4:31 left in the game. The first half was scoreless, but Clemson moved the ball. The Tigers had 156 yards of total offense in the first quarter against the Bulldogs, who came into the game giving up just 222 yards a game. Brandon Streeter completed a 37-yard pass to Rod Gardner on the first play of the game. However, it set the tone for the rest of the half when the Tigers were not able to score after moving as far as the Mississippi State 34-yard line before Streeter threw an interception. Clemson moved the ball into Bulldog Territory on its next two drives as well. On the third drive, Clemson advanced to the 9-yard line before facing fourth down. Tony Lazzaras 25-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Robert Bean - his fifth blocked kick of the season. Barrin Simpson picked up the ball and returned it nearly 50 yards. Mississippi State, however, had no success against Clemsons defense. The Bulldogs had just 46 total yards in the first half and the blocked punt was their only serious threat. Clemson lost starting tailback Travis Zachery and starting quarterback Brandon Streeter in the first half. Zachery dislocated his right elbow. Streeter suffered a bruised shoulder. The Tigers survived the loss of Zachery, who was hurt making a tackle on Streeters interception. After Streeter left the game, however, the Clemson offense slowed considerably. After gaining 162 yards in the first quarter and a half with Streeter, Woody Dantzler could only manage 38 yards of offense before Streeter returned midway through the third quarter. Box Score

 Clemson         0  0  0  7- 7
 Mississippi St. 0  0  3 14-17
 

Third Quarter MS-FG Westerfield 39, 2:21.

Fourth Quarter MS-Madkin 2 run (Westerfield kick), 11:40. Cle-Streeter 1 run (Lazzara kick), 8:15. MS-D.Walker 15 pass from Madkin (Westerfield kick), 4:31. A-73,315.

Clem MS First downs 24 16 Rushes-yards 34-85 33-89 Passing 306 176 Comp-Att-Int 25-56-5 17-38-0 Return Yards 8 30 Punts-Avg. 7-34.6 10-42.7 Fumbles-Lost 1-1 2-1 Penalties-Yards 8-82 21-188 Time of Possession 29:19 30:41

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING-Clemson, Rambert 18-70, Dantzler 9-8, Streeter 4-7, Wofford 1-5, Witherspoon 1-2, Zachery 1-(minus 7). Mississippi St., Madkin 5-37, Miller 10-24, D.Walker 9-18, Rainey 3-14, Griffith 3-1, Gibson 1-0, Team 2-(minus 5).

PASSING-Clemson, Streeter 24-50-4-301, Dantzler 1-6-1-5. Mississippi St., Madkin 17-38-0-176.

RECEIVING-Clemson, Gardner 7-75, Wofford 6-147, Lawyer 5-46, Cyrgalis 2-21, Rambert 2-8, Bailey 1-9, Seth 1-3, Reames 1-(minus 3). Mississippi St., Miller 3-54, Sirmones 2-21, D.Walker 2-20, Griffith 2-14, McCaskey 2-9, Butler 1-21, Love 1-20, Huntington 1-6, Lee 1-5, Gibson 1-3, Belcher 1-3.

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