STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Memphis State fullback Leon Bosby scored on runs of one and 35 yards Saturday to help the Tigers down Mississippi State, 28-23.
Bosby, a junior, scored from a yard out following a Mississippi State fumble in the first quarter. Then facing a fourth down and needing a yard in the fourth period, Bosby broke off left guard for a 35-yard game-winning touchdown with 3:39 left to play. Bosby led the Tigers with 69 yards on 12 carries.
The Tigers wasted little time in grabbing the lead, scoring on their second play from scrimmage. Keith Benton, faced with a second-and-9 from his own 31-yard line, hit flanker John Bush for a 69-yard scoring play. Memphis State faked the kick for the extra point and Andy McWilliams tossed to Gary Bouldin for the two-point conversion to take an 8-0 lead with 11:35 to play in the opening period.
Mississippi State countered with an 80-yard scoring drive. William 'Sleepy' Robinson threw a 10-yard scoring strike to Tony James with 5:46 left in the quarter, but the pass to James on the two-point conversion attempt fell incomplete to allow the Tigers to hold on to an 8-6 lead.
A Bulldog chance to take the lead fell wide right at the 7:18 point in the first half when Chris Gardner's 47-yard field goal attempt missed the mark.
After an exchange of punts, Memphis State struck again, capitalizing on a William Prince fumble at the 1-yard line. Bosby dived into the end zone with 1:33 left and Allison booted Memphis State to the 15-6 lead.
The Tigers extended their margin 63 seconds later following a Dominic Calloway interception of a pass Robinson intended for Harris. A four- play scoring drive ended with a 23-yard pass from Benton to Tony Isles. Allison's kick gave Memphis State a 22-6 halftime lead.
Mississippi State's first drive of the second half resulted in a 36- yard field goal with 9:56. Gardner's kick cut the Tigers' lead to 22-9.
Edward Williams' interception at the Tigers' 36-yard line returned the ball to the Bulldogs with 9:04 to play in the third. From there, Mississippi State used five plays to score. Robinson hit James on a 22- yard scoring pass with7:07 left in the quarter to pull Mississippi State to within a touchdown. Gardner's kick closed the gap to 22-16.
The Bulldogs grabbed their first lead of the game with 11:52 to play. Mississippi State's 61-yard scoring march included two successful tries on fourth down. Davis carried the final 11 yards and Gardner added the kick for a 23-22 Bulldog advantage.
The Tigers bounced back with the aid of Bosby's second score to take their final lead of the game. Benton fumbled on the attempt for the two- point conversion.
Memphis State improved 4-3 on the season and hosts Tulsa next Saturday. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs fell to 4-3 and travel to Auburn for a Southeastern Conference game.