Henig, Dixon have 2 TDs each as Miss. State beats Tulane, 38-17

Published 12:05 am Sunday, September 9, 2007

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Michael Henig stayed out of Mississippi State’s record book and led his team to its first victory of the season.

A week after throwing six interceptions to tie a school record in a 45-0 loss to No. 2 LSU, he passed for passed for 223 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another touchdown as the Bulldogs defeated Tulane, 38-17, in a non-conference game in the Superdome.

Henig completed 20-of-31, threw one interception, and rushed six times for 23 yards for Mississippi State, which outscored the Green Wave, 21-0, in the second half.

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“Henig has a lot of pride,” Bulldogs coach Sylvester Croom said. “I know what kind of quarterback he is. We have a lot of confidence in Mike.”

Anthony Dixon rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries. He gained 91 of his yards and scored both of his touchdowns in the second half as the Bulldogs wore down Tulane, which had no first downs and six yards total offense in the second half.

The Green Wave was playing its first game under new coach Bob Toledo, who was last a head coach with UCLA in 2002.

“They were physically better than us,” Toledo said. “We couldn’t match up with them. We are what we are. You get worn down when you’re not as strong as the opponent. We’re not as mature as them. We’re not as quick as them. We’re not as strong as them.”

Tulane’s Scott Elliott completed 15-of-26 for 197 yards with one touchdown and one interception before spraining an ankle and giving way to Anthony Scelfo in the fourth quarter. It was unclear how serious Elliott’s injury was.

Mississippi State broke a 17-all tie on the first possession of the third quarter when Henig completed all five of his passes for 56 yards, the last of them an 8-yard touchdown to Jeremy Jones.

“We did some good things tonight,” said Henig, who completed passes to 10 different receivers. “We have a lot of guys who can get open and catch the ball. That (first) second-half drive was the best I’ve been since I’ve been at State.”

Later in the quarter Dixon ran 27 yards for a touchdown that gave the Bulldogs a 31-17 lead. Dixon added a 7-yard touchdown run with 9:33 left in the game.

On the third play from scrimmage Elliott’s pass was tipped and cornerback Gabe O’Neal grabbed the ball for an interception and ran 47 yards for a touchdown.

The Green Wave tied the score at seven on its next possession when Matt Forte ran 39 yards for a touchdown.

Later in the first quarter, another Tulane turnover led to another Mississippi State touchdown. Forte fumbled and O’Neal recovered at the Bulldogs 44. Six plays later, on third-and-9, Henig scrambled 18 yards for a touchdown.

The Green Wave tied the score again on its next possession. Elliotts 67-yard completion to Jeremy Williams helped set up Elliotts 8-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy McKinney.

Adam Carlson, who missed a 42-yard field goal early in the second quarter, made a 23-yarder to give the Bulldogs a 17-14 lead with 6:25 remaining in the second quarter. On the ensuing possession, Ross Thevenot kicked a 26-yard field goal to tie the score.