JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - The Michigan football season, and possibly the Rich Rodriguez era of University of Michigan football, came to an abrupt end at the hands of a 52-14 beat down from the No. 21-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon at the 2011 Gator Bowl at Everbank Field.
MSU quarterback Chris Relf, 18-of-23 for 281 yards and three touchdowns, led the way for the Bulldogs who more than doubled their average offensive output. Relf also added 39 yards and a score on the ground. Running back Vick Ballard also finished with three scores and 74 yards for MSU.
Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson led the way for the Wolverines going 27-of-41 for 256 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also added 58 yards on the ground. Most of the Michigan offense came in a 14-point first quarter as the Wolverines never over the games final 45 minutes.
On the games first possession the Wolverines marched 78-yards on 10 plays to claim an early 7-0 lead. Robinson completed all three of his passes on the drive, including the 10-yard scoring strike to Roy Roundtree, plus ripped off chunks off yards on the ground.
Mississippi State answered to take its first lead of the game late in the first quarter. On 3rd-and-goal from the Michigan goal line Relf tossed his first score of the game, then, following a blocked Michigan punt, MSU went up 10-7 on a field goal.
U-M took its final lead of the contest with 34 seconds left in the quarter. Robinson threw his second touchdown of the game, a 27-yard strike down the sideline, to Martavious Odoms to make it 14-10.
In the second quarter the Bulldogs jumped on the Wolverines to the tune of a 21-0 margin to build a 31-14 lead at halftime. Ballard and Relf both scored from inside the five and Relf found Ricco Sanders from 15-yards out to give MSU the 17 point edge.
Mississippi State extended the lead with two third quarter touchdowns to make it a 45-14 edge. On MSU's second possession of the quarter the Bulldogs went 80-yards capped with another Ballard run. After Michigan turned it over on downs MSU went 88-yards on just two plays for a score.
MSU added one touchdown in the final quarter to give Michigan its biggest bowl loss in school history. With the loss the Wolverines end the season with a record of 7-6.
Mississippi State Blows Out U-M
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