Will Rogers threw a touchdown pass and ran for a score as the State of Mississippi fought off the No. 24 Tulsa 28-26 in a rainy Armed Forces Bowl Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas.
Emmanuel Forbes had a 90 yard interception return for a touchdown and Lideatrick Griffin, who caught Rogers’ touchdown pass, contributed 138 kickoff return yards to help the Bulldogs (4-7) deliver a sluggish offensive performance overcoming, which produced only 270 yards.
Zach Smith passed for 347 yards and a touchdown, but threw two crucial interceptions for the Golden Hurricane (6-3).
The competition was marred by an ugly post-game brawl that resulted in plenty of punches and kicks.
The Tulsa defense held the Mississippi state crime down even without linebacker Zaven Collins, the Nagurski award winner for best defensive player in the country who had decided against the NFL draft.
The Bulldogs led 7-6 at halftime and Rogers fought 13 yards for a touchdown that gave the State of Mississippi a 14-6 lead.
Deneric Prince responded with a 13-yard touchdown run for Tulsa on next possession.
The Golden Hurricane was poised to take the first lead of the game, but Forbes scored against Smith for a 21-13 win in the state of Mississippi at the end of the third quarter.
A botched Mississippi state boat gave Tulsa an initial failure at the Bulldogs 32-yard line, and nine games later Corey Taylor II ran 5 yards for a touchdown. A two-point pass was incomplete and MSU had a 21:19 lead, 12:30 remained.
Rogers threw Griffin a 13-yard touchdown to increase the lead to 28-19 at 8:01.
Smith drove the Golden Hurricane to the Bulldogs’ 6 but was intercepted by Tyrus Wheat before leading Tulsa 1:23 left to his 15-yard touchdown pass to Keylon Stokes. Stokes had nine catches for 117 yards.
Griffin returned the opening start 53 yards to the Tulsa 39-yard line.
Three games later, Jo’Quavious Marks ran 28 yards to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead that lasted until the end of the first quarter.
Zack Long scored field goals of 27 and 33 yards to pull the Golden Hurricane within 7-6 at halftime.
– Field level media