Mississippi State Rips Memphis in Season Opener

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Vick Ballard rushed for 166 yards and three touchdowns and No. 20 Mississippi State easily handled Memphis 59-14 on Thursday night at the Liberty Bowl.

Mississippi State dominated from the start, taking a 31-7 lead after gaining 405 total yards in the first half. Things slowed down a little after that, but the Bulldogs still finished with a school-record 645 total yards.

Ballard had touchdown runs of 46 and 66 yards in the first half. He added a 1-yard touchdown early in the third quarter and averaged
16.6 yards per carry.

Chris Relf completed 13 of 21 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns for MSU (1-0). He also rushed for 51 yards. Jameon Lewis caught four passes for 113 yards and a touchdown.

The Bulldogs have won 12 straight games against Memphis (0-1),
dating back to 1993.


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