Slow start gives way to big points in Mississippi State’s rout of LA Tech

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RUSTON, La. – Nick Fitzgerald threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more to lead Mississippi State over Louisiana Tech 57-21 on Saturday night.

Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons scored two touchdowns, one after blocking a punt and recovering the ball in the end zone, and another after recovering a fumble and running 90 yards for the touchdown. It was the first time a Mississippi State defensive player scored two touchdowns in a game since Jonathan Banks in 2009.

Mississippi State’s relatively carefree evening of football didn’t start out so well.

Louisiana Tech jumped out to a 9-0 lead, partly thanks to an errant Fitzgerald throw that was intercepted by Amik Robertson and returned to Mississippi State’s 2-yard line. Two plays later Kam McKnight ran for a 1-yard touchdown.

That’s where the good news ended for Louisiana Tech. Mississippi State scored the next 36 points to push ahead 36-14 at halftime. Fitzgerald scored on a 44-yard run just 33 seconds into the second half t push the advantage to 43-14 and erase any doubt about the outcome.