BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Omarr Conner jumped across the goal line
for a touchdown in overtime and Mississippi State got its first win
Saturday with a 16-10 victory over UAB.
Conner -- State's third starting quarterback this season after
Michael Henig was hurt in the opener -- was swarmed by teammates
after the 21-yard run. UAB challenged the TD call, but it stood
after a video review.
UAB had gotten the ball first in overtime, but Adron Chambers
picked off Chris Williams' pass in the end zone on the second play
to hold the Blazers.
Mississippi State (1-3) rallied on offense after a night of
mistakes and then kept UAB (1-3) out of the end zone just to get to
Trailing 7-3 in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs got the ball at
the UAB 46 after a 25-yard punt return by Derek Pegues.
UAB fans went wild when the Blazer defense stopped Conner just
short of the goal line on fourth-and-3. But the gain was enough for
a first down, and Anthony Dixon went in from the 1 for a score on
the next play.
The teams traded punts before the Bulldogs stopped a UAB drive
and Parker Mullins kicked a 37-yard field goal with 1:57 remaining
to tie it at 10 and force overtime.
Conner was 14-of-23 passing for 115 yards without an
Dixon led Mississippi State rushers with 81 yards on 19 carries,
but he also had a couple of drive-killing fumbles.
The low-scoring game was more of the same for UAB and
Mississippi State, which struggled to put points on the board in
their first three games. State has been shut out twice, and UAB
hadn't scored more than 17 points in a game.
True to form, defense dominated and the teams swapped punts most
of the first half. UAB finally scored late in the second quarter
when Williams ran 9 yards for a TD to cap a 12-play, 73-yard drive
that was keyed by his 21-yard pass to Sylvester Menster for a first
down at the State 35.
State answered with a career-long, 47-yard field goal by Adam
Carlson. But a series of mistakes and missed chances kept State out
of the end zone until Dixon's TD.
With the Bulldogs threatening on their opening drive, Dixon
fumbled at the UAB 23 and Chris Felder recovered for the Blazers.
UAB didn't get any points off the turnover, but it set a bad tone
The Bulldogs were twice in position to go ahead in the third
quarter but couldn't make it into the end zone either time.
On a fourth-and-1 at the UAB 25, Arnil Stallworth ran up the
middle and into the heart of the Blazer defense, where Felder
stopped him for no gain and UAB took over on downs.
Things didn't go any better on State's next drive. The Bulldogs
had a first down at the UAB 24 after a late-hit penalty against the
Blazers, but Kris Guyton forced a fumble by Dixon and grabbed the
ball at the UAB 19 to end the threat.
UAB, a member of Conference USA, played host for the first time
in 11 games against Southeastern Conference opponents. The
announced attendance of 36,104 was second-largest in UAB history.