STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Anthony Dixon rushed for a career-high 179 yards and had three touchdowns to help Mississippi State snap a nine-game losing streak to Arkansas in a 31-28 victory today. The Bulldogs (4-7, 2-5 Southeastern Conference), already eliminated from bowl contention, knocked the Razorbacks (4-7, 1-6) out of the postseason picture with their best offensive performance of the season against a league foe.
Mississippi State took advantage of the SEC's worst defense, scoring the second most points in a game this season. The Bulldogs came in averaging just 77.3 yards rushing per game against SEC opponents, but had 226. Dixon broke open a close contest with a 63-yard scoring run on a sweep down the left sideline and had touchdown catches from Tyson Lee of 1 and 10 yards.
The 240-pound junior also had a 40-yard run that set up Arnil Stallworth's 10-yard scoring run in the second quarter and had 211 total yards. After allowing Michael Smith, the SEC's No. 2 rusher, 45 yards and a touchdown on the Razorbacks' first drive, the Bulldogs held him to 15 yards the rest of the way, just 1 in the second half.
The loss spoiled a successful first start for Nathan Dick, who coach Bobby Petrino started in place of his older brother, Casey Dick. The senior was knocked out of the South Carolina game two weeks ago with a concussion, but was suited up and announced as the starter.
Nathan Dick, a redshirt freshman, passed for 333 yards and three touchdowns, and helped keep the Razorbacks in the game after it appeared Mississippi State might pull away.