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No. 3 Bulldogs race out to big lead, beat No. 2 Auburn

Oct 12, 2014 - 3:02 AM Starkville, MS ( - The cowbells were deafening in Starkville, even when a heavy downpour pounded the field late in the first half.

There was certainly plenty to cheer about.

Dak Prescott and Josh Robinson each ran for a pair of touchdowns and No. 3 Mississippi State defeated No. 2 Auburn 38-23 on Saturday afternoon.

"They deserve just as much credit for this as the guys on the field," Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen said of the fans. It was an unbelievable, electric atmosphere."

The Bulldogs (6-0, 3-0 SEC) raced out to a 21-0 first-quarter lead and held on to record their third straight win over a top-10 team for the first time in school history.

Prescott carried the ball 21 times for 121 yards and completed 18-of-34 passes for 246 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Robinson gained 97 yards on 19 totes for Mississippi State, which knocked off then-No. 8 LSU before taking care of then-No. 6 Texas A&M last Saturday in its prior two weeks.

De'Runnya Wilson caught four passes for 72 yards and a score and Malcolm Johnson hauled in five receptions for 60 yards in the triumph.

Nick Marshall was 17-of-35 for 209 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions and added 100 yards on the ground on 17 carries for the Tigers (5-1, 2-1), who turned the ball over four times after giving it away just five times coming in.

D'haquille Williams caught both of Marshall's TD passes, totaling 108 yards on six receptions, while Cameron Artis-Payne racked up 70 yards rushing on 16 carries in defeat.

Auburn slowly chipped away at the 21-0 first-quarter deficit and pulled within eight following a 99-yard TD drive at the 6:09 mark of the third.

After getting a 68-yard Sammie Coates reception wiped out due to an offensive pass interference penalty on Auburn's opening touch of the second half, the Tigers used 10 plays to travel the length of the field on their second sequence.

Williams, who had a 32-yard catch earlier on the drive, finished off the series with a 15-yard TD reception on a 3rd-and-8, pulling Auburn within 28-20.

Mississippi State re-established a healthy cushion shortly thereafter, forcing a pair of punts on Auburn's next two series.

Robinson rumbled for a 37-yard run along the left sideline and a Jonathan Jones pass interference penalty on a 4th-and-8 from the Tigers' 26 extended the drive. Prescott was unable to convert a 3rd-and-1 and the Bulldogs settled for a 21-yard Evan Sobiesk field goal early in the fourth.

Ricardo Louis fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Mississippi State needed just two snaps to find the end zone. Johnson came down with a jump ball at the 1 and Robinson sprinted in untouched to make it 38-20.

Daniel Carlson nailed a 42-yard field goal on Auburn's next touch, but Justin Cox's diving interception of Marshall with 2:44 left sealed the outcome.

Earlier, the Bulldogs turned back-to-back Auburn turnovers on its first two plays from scrimmage into a pair of scores in the first five minutes.

Ryan Brown tipped a Marshall pass at the line of scrimmage and Jay Hughes hauled in the wobbler for an easy interception, returning the pick to the Auburn 33.

Auburn, which hadn't allowed a third-down conversion on 19 straight attempts, gave up a 34-yard TD pass to Wilson on a 3rd-and-11. Wilson ran a post, Tigers cornerback Jonathon Mincy missed a tackle and Wilson barreled through two Auburn defenders at the 5 before crossing the goal line.

Williams fumbled following a 7-yard reception, which linebacker Benardrick McKinney recovered. Robinson had a 25-yard catch on a wheel route down the left sideline and he plunged in from a yard out a play later to make it 14-0 at the 11:30 mark.

"We started out in a hole. We turned the ball over the very first two plays we had and we got in a hole and their crowd got into it," Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said.

A holding penalty stalled Auburn's next drive and Prescott capped a 7-play, 71-yard trek with a 2-yard TD run for a 21-0 cushion.

Carlson missed a 28-yard field goal late in the first quarter, but nailed a 21-yarder on the first play of the second after the Bulldogs' fake punt attempt in their own territory went awry.

The Tigers trimmed the gap further in the frame, capitalizing on a trio of Mississippi State miscues.

Jones picked off Prescott twice on consecutive Bulldog possessions. The first interception led to a 22-yard Carlson field goal and the second came in the end zone when Prescott underthrew Wilson in the back left corner.

The next mistake came when Jamoral Graham went to field a bouncing punt before bobbling it at the Mississippi State 22. Williams hauled in a 9-yard TD catch on a 3rd-and-8 to slice the margin to 21-13.

Game Notes

Mississippi State was 8-of-17 on third down, while Auburn finished 6-of-15 ... The Bulldogs posted all four of their turnovers in the first half, the most in an opening half since Sept. 26, 2009 against LSU ... Mississippi State's attendance of 62,945 established a new Davis Wade Stadium record.