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Thornton, Mississippi State roll to first home win

Oct 14, 2006 - 11:55 PM STARKVILLE, Mississippi (Ticker) -- Brandon Thornton finally gave Mississippi State's fans something to cheer about.

Thornton ran for a pair of touchdowns and cornerback Derek Pegues also reached the end zone twice as Mississippi State cruised to a 35-3 non-conference triumph over Division I-AA Jacksonville State.

It was the first win in five home games this season for the Bulldogs (2-5), who had yielded a total of 90 points in losing their last two contests.

But Pegues spearheaded a feisty Mississippi State defense while Thornton carried the offensive load, rushing for 88 yards on 16 attempts.

The Bulldogs took the lead for good just 38 seconds into the contest when Pegues intercepted Matt Hardin and reeled off a 26-yard TD return.

Mississippi State led, 7-3, with 11:40 left in the first half when Pegues found the end zone again after racing for an 81-yard punt return. Thornton ran for both of his TDs in the second half as the Bulldogs cruised.

Michael Henig completed 11-of-25 passes for 183 yards and a score for Mississippi State, which improved to 43-16-1 in non-conference games since 1989.

Hardin went 12-of-26 for 149 yards for the Gamecocks (3-3), who converted just 4-of-16 third downs.

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