UAB 27, Mississippi St. 13
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP)—Darrell Hackney threw two touchdown passes to Roddy White to lead UAB past Mississippi State 27-13 on Saturday.
Reggie Lindsey returned a punt 67 yards for a TD for the Blazers (4-1), who have won three straight.
Jerious Norwood ran for a career-high 201 yards on 24 carries for Mississippi State (1-5), which has lost five straight since winning Sylvester Croom’s coaching debut five weeks ago.
But Mississippi State couldn’t contain the Hackney-to-White combination. Hackney was 13-of-19 for 150 yards and two touchdowns to White, who caught seven passes for 123 yards.
Lindsey’s return sealed it for the Blazers, who enter the Conference USA stretch run needing two wins to become bowl-eligible.
Mississippi State cut it to 17-13 on Keith Andrews’ 42-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. UAB countered a 33-yard field goal by Nick Hayes, then held the Bulldogs to three-and-out.
Lindsey took Brooks Crabtree’s punt at the UAB 33, started left, zigged right and cut back through the left side to clinch the game with less than eight minutes left.
UAB’s sights are on the school’s first bowl game since moving to Division I-A in 1996. The Blazers have won at least six games twice since 2000 but have never participated in the postseason.
Mississippi State had 324 yards to the Blazers’ 314—and most of that yardage was produced by Norwood, who surpassed his pre-game average of 56 yards midway through the first quarter.
Norwood easily exceeded his previous career high of 138 yards—which he set two years ago against Kentucky—mainly because the Blazers seemed determined to force backup quarterback Kyle York to beat them, and he couldn’t.
York, who started in place of injured Omarr Conner for the second straight week, was 10-of-20 for 99 yards and hit Eric Butler from 8 yards out for Mississippi State’s only touchdown.
Conner, out after injuring a knee ligament two weeks ago at LSU, is expected back for the Bulldogs’ next game, at home Oct. 23 against Florida.
Hayes also had a 28-yard field goal for UAB, which faces TCU in Birmingham on Friday night.
Keith Andrews had field goals of 48 and 42 yards for Mississippi State.