September 10, 2011 11:29:00 PM
AUBURN, Ala.-- When Mississippi State''s 11 players lined up Saturday at the Auburn University 2-yard-line with 10 seconds remaining in the game, they knew a tie wasn''t in their future.
MSU coach Dan Mullen said in the post-game media conference that the Bulldogs would''ve gone for a game-winning two-point conversion had quarterback Chris Relf scored .
"Yes," Mullen said emphatically when asked if he would''ve gone for the win. "Then you could''ve come in and yelled and screamed at me for going for two."
The two-point play attempt never materialized because safety Ryan Smith stood Relf up on an option run to preserve the Tigers'' 41-34 victory.
"I couldn''t be more proud of a guy like Ryan," Auburn coach Gene Chizik said. "It makes me like a proud father."
Mullen said what turned out to be the game''s final play was a similar option play that LSU stuffed MSU on two years ago at Davis Wade Stadium.
"It''s just like the way I felt against LSU (and) going through two games like that takes years off my life," MSU senior right tackle Addison Lawrence said.
Against LSU, quarterback Tyson Lee was held up short after MSU failed to get the touchdown following a first-and-goal at the 1.
"(Relf''s pitch man) wasn''t as clear cut," Mullen said. "I think (Relf) made the right read on the play from my vantage point when I got to turn and look at the replay."
MSU hasn''t converted a two-point play since Mullen was hired as coach. Their last attempt was in a 29-19 loss to Florida in Starkville in 2009. The last time the Bulldogs converted a two-point play was on an Omarr Conner run in a 32-29 loss to Tulane in 2006.
Lawrence said a pair of plays was discussed in the huddle before the final play.
"We all knew we were going to go for two," Lawrence said. "We knew it was down to two plays, but we didn''t know which one it would be. We knew we would stay on the field after we scored."
LT Carmon carted off field with knee injury; Saulsberry injured in fourth
MSU lost senior offensive linemen James Carmon and Quentin Saulsberry to injuries.
Carmon, the starting left tackle, was carted off the field in the second quarter after suffering what looked like an injury to his left knee. After the game, the 320-pounder was using crutches and was wearing a large black brace all the way down his left leg.
Blaine Clausell, who was one of four players suspended for the season opener last week at the University of Memphis, made his debut in the final two and a half quarters of play.
"It definitely sucks to see one of your teammates hurt, but hopefully he''ll be back soon," Lawrence said.
Saulsberry, a co-captain last season and starting center, hobbled off the field after injuring his right leg in the fourth quarter. Redshirt freshman Dillon Day, who played last week, took Saulsberry''s place in the
"Dillon takes reps with the (first string) during the week and in camp, so we were really comfortable with him being there," Lawrence said.
Saulsberry, who has played all positions on the offensive line at MSU, walked off the field Saturday afternoon.
Mullen declined after the game to comment on the severity of the injuries to Carmon and Saulsberry.
LB Hughes inactive; RB Griffin makes trip
MSU sophomore linebacker Chris Hughes wasn''t on the active roster list hours before kickoff Saturday.
The loss of Hughes, who was one of five players suspended prior to MSU''s game last Thursday at Memphis, left the Bulldogs with seven linebackers.
MSU spokespeople declined to comment when asked why Hughes didn''t make the trip to Auburn.
Harris played mostly on special teams in 11 games last season. He had 13 tackles, one tackle for loss, and a forced fumble.
Redshirt freshman tailback Nick Griffin was listed on the dress list for the first time since suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in spring drills.
Griffin, who redshirted last season, has yet to make his college debut. The three-star prospect was ranked the 10th-best recruit in the state of Mississippi two years ago.
1. Former Bulldog Renfroe hopes to stick with Padres LOCAL SPORTS
2. Donahoe leaving Heritage Aca. for top job at Marshall Aca. HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. MSU shooting for first regional at new home LOCAL COLUMNS
4. No. 11 MSU women face big test at No. 15 Texas A&M COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Alabama holds on to beat No. 15 Texas A&M COLLEGE SPORTS