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MISSISSIPPI ST 35, JACKSONVILLE ST 3

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.