Fitzgerald runs Mississippi St past South Carolina, 27-14

Mississippi St. linebacker DeAndre Ward tackles South Carolina running back A.J. Turner during the first half
Mississippi State linebacker DeAndre Ward (28) tackles South Carolina running back A.J. Turner (25) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Jim Lytle)

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald set a school record for rushing yards by a quarterback and the Bulldogs defeated South Carolina 27-14 Saturday at Davis Wade Stadium.

Fitzgerald rushed 17 times for 195 yards and also passed for 178 yards and two touchdowns.

South Carolina was outgained 485-243 in total offense. The Gamecocks did register a pair of second half touchdown passes from freshman quarterback Brandon McIllwain, who started the second half after not playing in the first.

Fitzgerald’s rushing total broke a 36-year-old school record. His 195 yards easily passed former Mississippi State quarterback John Bond’s previous record of 163 rushing yards in 1980 against Ole Miss.

Mississippi State rolled to a 24-0 lead at halftime thanks to a pair of touchdown passes by Fitzgerald. Receiver Fred Ross had a touchdown catch and a touchdown pass in the first half.

The Bulldogs outgained South Carolina 324-90 in total yards in the first half. A lightning delay forced both teams to stay inside the locker room for an extra 32 minutes at halftime.

THE TAKEAWAY

South Carolina: The Gamecocks only had 90 yards of total offense in the first half with Perry Orth at quarterback. Orth was 9-of-17 for just 83 yards with one interception.

Mississippi State: In his second career start, Nick Fitzgerald had career highs in rushing yards, passing touchdowns, passing yards, pass attempts and pass completions.

UP NEXT

South Carolina: After opening the season with two straight road games, South Carolina hosts East Carolina next Saturday in the home opener.

Mississippi State: Mississippi State goes on the road for the first time this season next Saturday with a trip to LSU.

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