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Defense helps Mississippi State upset Vandy

Oct 11, 2008 - 11:40 PM STARKVILLE, Mississippi (Ticker) -- Vanderbilt has not been 6-0 since 1928. The Mississippi State defense made sure that streak would last another year at least.

De'Mon Glanton and linebacker Karlin Brown both made key interceptions and the Bulldogs' defense was stifling en route to a 17-14 Southeastern Conference victory over the 14th-ranked Commodores on Saturday.

"That is something we discussed in the off week because we hadn't been getting turnovers," Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom said. "I went back and pulled some clips from the Central Florida game, and we were not playing defense.

"Even at the Auburn game, we weren't playing defense like we did most of last season."

Anthony Dixon rushed for 105 yards and Tyson Lee tossed a touchdown for Mississippi State (2-4, 1-2 SEC West), which held Vanderbilt to just 109 yards from scrimmage.

"That was really just everybody doing their job," Bulldogs defensive back Derek Pegues said. "We got away from that a little bit, people were trying to make too many things happen and getting away from their job.

"But everybody did their job on every play and was in the right spot, and we were able to get a couple of turnovers."

Chris Nickson was intercepted on the first play of the fourth quarter by Glanton, who returned the pick 16 yards to the Commodores 7-yard line.

Glanton's first interception of the season and fifth career set up Christian Ducre's 3-yard TD run three plays later, which gave the Bulldogs a 17-7 edge.

Nickson struggled throughout the contest, completing just 3-of-9 passes for 15 yards.

"I don't think it was Chris' fault at that point," Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson said. "He was doing what we asked him to do, and he wasn't getting a lot of time to make the throw."

Mackenzi Adams replaced Nickson early in the fourth and led Vanderbilt (5-1, 3-1 East) on a scoring drive. But Adams, who was the hero in last week's 14-13 win over Auburn, was intercepted by Brown on a potential game-winning drive.

"That is going to be a decision we will be making here on whether who to start," Johnson said of the quarterback controversy. "We make those decisions with the best information that we have, and we hope to stick with them. Every position is under review."

Vanderbilt, which was off to its best start since 1943, capitalized on a poor punt late in the first half. Starting from MSU's 17-yard-line, Nickson capped the short drive with a 1-yard TD run to give the Commodores a 7-3 lead just before the break.

The Bulldogs took a 10-7 lead with 8:09 remaining when Lee connected with tight end Brandon Henderson on a 5-yard score. It was Henderson's first collegiate catch.

"Well, I am glad (Henderson) got off the line of scrimmage, I am glad he got open and I am glad he caught the football," Croom said. "He is very capable of being a good football player, and he finally shows up and makes a play."