Sherrill Makes History as MSU Wins Big

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) _ Alabama was down and Mississippi State was happy to give the Crimson Tide a solid kick. Dicenzo Miller and Dontae Walker each ran for more than 100 yards as the 15th-ranked Bulldogs registered their most lopsided victory ever against the Crimson Tide, 29-7 Saturday. It was the fourth straight loss for Alabama (3-7, 3-4). Lame duck coach Mike DuBose heads into next Saturday's finale against archrival Auburn hoping to avoid the Crimson Tide's worst season since going 0-10 in 1955. ``If you get the dog down you got to keep him down,'' Mississippi State cornerback Fred Smoot said. The Bulldogs did just that. ``I am very disappointed that we didn't come out and play physical,'' DuBose said. ``We knew that to win this football game that we would have to play physical. We didn't and they did and that was a big factor.'' Miller ran for 104 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns. He also caught a 13-yard touchdown pass that gave Mississippi State (7-2, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) a 14-0 lead with 1:40 left in the first quarter. Walker ran for 117 yards on 16 carries. It was the fourth time this season Miller and Walker have run for over 100 yards in the same game, and sixth straight 100-yard game for Miller. ``I believe they are the two best backs in the SEC,'' Bulldogs center Michael Fair said. ``Dicenzo is so quick and Dontae will lower his head and run over people.'' Mississippi State's previous largest margin of victory against Alabama was a 26-7 win in 1955. ``We're already frustrated with things happening off the field, then we can't get anything done on the field and it builds up,'' Alabama safety Marcus Spencer said. Wayne Madkin threw for a career-high 262 yards to help to make Jackie Sherrill the winningest coach in school history with 66 victories in 10 seasons, breaking a tie with Allyn McKeen. ``Give credit to the players because they win games,'' Sherrill said. The Bulldogs have now won four of the last five meetings, a remarkable turnaround in a series that Alabama has historically dominated. The 85th meeting between the two teams produced just the 16th win by Mississippi State. The Bulldogs beat the Crimson Tide just once from 1958-95. ``It has been wonderful to come out and beat Alabama year after year,'' senior safety Eugene Clinton said. The team that earned that lone victory during those dark days for Mississippi State _ a 6-3 win in 1980 _ was honored before the game at Scott Field. That Mississippi State team shocked then-No. 1 Alabama and broke the Crimson Tide's 28-game winning streak. This time around the result was little surprise. Mississippi State looked like a team with conference championship aspirations. ``This is a big step toward Atlanta,'' said Smoot, referring to the site of the SEC championship game. The Crimson Tide's misery was magnified in the final minutes, when they failed to score after taking over on the Bulldogs' 1 following a blocked punt. After one particularly poor practice early in the week, DuBose said it looked like his players and coaches didn't want to be there. The Crimson Tide entered the game still mathematically alive in the SEC Western Division race, but looked like they didn't want to be in Starkville. Alabama cornerback Milo Lewis said he is tired of trying to pump up his teammates. ``If they don't want to get themselves up there's nothing I can do,'' he said. The Bulldogs ran and passed at will, gaining 538 total yards. Mississippi State stifled the Crimson Tide's running game and had a hand on almost as many of Andrew Zow's passes as the Alabama receivers. Alabama ran for just 31 yards on 28 carries. Antonio Carter had four catches for 95 yards, and said that the Alabama receivers couldn't understand why the Tide ran so much when they were having so little success. ``We were on the sidelines thinking we should throw,'' Carter said. ``We're not coaches. We don't call the plays.'' Freddie Milons, whose horrible season has mirrored his team's trouble, produced one of Alabama's few highlights when he raced 66 yards with a screen pass in the third quarter. The play setup Alabama's only touchdown, a 35-yard pass from Zow to Jason McAddley that made it 22-9 with 1:56 left in the third. Zow was 13-for-31 for 281 yards with and two interceptions.