Fant, Run Defense Star in First Scrimmage

STARKVILLE, Miss. ­- Three Kevin Fant touchdown passes and a front-seven on defense that shut down the Bulldog ground game highlighted Mississippi State's first full-scale scrimmage of the 2003 preseason.

Fant connected on a pair of long-distance aerials in the scrimmage's second and fourth series and then added a third scoring strike in the final possession of the 100-minute scrimmage. On the other side of the ball, a combination of State defenses held Bulldog rushers to just 46 yards on 37 rushes.

"We wanted to go 30 snaps with each group, and we were able to get 36, so we got in the work we intended," MSU head football coach Jackie Sherrill said. "I thought we made some awfully good catches, and I was impressed with our (defensive) down linemen. We'll be able to rush the quarterback.

"But we need to watch the films to judge the blocking of the offensive line," Sherrill said. "We've got to find the right combinations. I was pleased, though, in that we only had one illegal procedure penalty all day on the offense. Overall, I thought we competed well."

Fant threw a 69-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Hargro and a 70-yard strike to Damon Berry, working with the second-team offense during the first few possessions of the scrimmage. He later teamed with Hargro on 29-yard scoring toss to close down the scrimmage.

Linebackers T.J. Mawhinney and Kenny Kern, and offensive guard Brad Weathers did not scrimmage.

Hargro 69 pass from Fant (no PAT attempt)
Berry 70 pass from Fant (no PAT attempt)
Vinson 28 interception return (no PAT attempt)
York 8 run (no PAT attempt)
Marlin 35 FG
Team safety
B.Smith 44 FG
Hargro 29 pass from Fant (no PAT attempt)
B.Smith 47 FG
B.Smith 47 FG
B.Smith 52 FG


RUSHING - Turner 9-18, Norwood 3-14, Reid 4-8, York 1-8 TD, Rivers 5-3, Mills 5-2, Jude 7-2, Nelson 1-(-4), Fant 2-(-5).
PASSING - Fant 8-14-1-223 3TD, York 5-13-0-64, Nelson 4-11-0-35.
RECEIVING - Hargro 3-103 2TD, Milons 2-43, Scott 2-23, Berry 1-70 TD, D.Jones 1-16, Rivers 1-15, Jenkins 1-14, Bivines 1-13, Arant 1-9, Freeman 1-9, Prosser 1-5, Conner 1-2, Lumpkin 1-0.
PUNTING - Cook 2-44.0, Wallis 1-49.0.
TACKLES - Dockery 8, Evans 4, Bennett 3, Culberson 3, Griffith 3, Horton 3, Stowers 3, Wallace 3, J.Clark 2, Day 2, Griffin 2, Kelly 2, McDougal 2, McKinley 2, Morgan 2, Rice 2, Upton 2, Bradley 1, C.Clark 1, Fields 1, Johnson 1, Myers 1, Williams 1.
SACKS - Kelly 1-6, Stowers 1-4.
TACKLES FOR LOSS-McDougal 1-3, Swain 1-3, Evans 1-2, Griffith 1-1, Hannibal 1-1.
PASS BREAKUPS-Byrdsong 1, Fields 1, Myers 1, Heard 1.

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