September 12, 2009 11:38:00 PM
AUBURN, Ala. -- One loss shouldn''t keep Mississippi State from reaching its goal, according to senior running back Anthony Dixon.
Dixon, who returned from a one-game suspension, to lead the Bulldogs with 92 yards on 20 carries, still has hopes for this season despite a 49-24 loss to Auburn University on Saturday night.
"We are still trying to get to the Southeastern Conference championship game this year," Dixon said. "Today didn''t change that. We are going to come up with a new plan for next week."
MSU (1-1) will go back on the road to play at Vanderbilt next Saturday.
Dixon now has 2,695 career rushing yards and is within 26 yards of third place in Bulldog history.
"I thought Anthony did a good job of running the ball," MSU coach Dan Mullen said. "I would like to distribute it more between the backs a little bit and get some more carries for Christian (Ducre'') and Arnil (Stallworth), but I think Anthony came out and ran hard."
Dixon extended his school-record rushing attempts total to 673 and the all-time rushing touchdown total to 31.
Receivers get in act
MSU junior and former East Mississippi Community College receiver Leon Berry had a career-high four receptions for 60 yards.
Redshirt freshman O''Neal Wilder made his first career reception for the Bulldogs, a 25-yard grab.
Big play on block
When Patrick Hanrahan blocked a punt that Robert Elliott returned for a 10-yard touchdown in the second quarter, it was the first time the Bulldogs had accomplished that feat for points since 2001 against Memphis.
Road woes at Auburn
Despite winning a 19-14 decision at Auburn in 2007, MSU hasn''t had a good history at Auburn.
The Bulldogs'' all-time record at Auburn is 6-26. The series mark fell to 23-58-2.
Smith not at Auburn
MSU redshirt freshman offensive guard Tobias Smith, of Columbus, didn''t make the trip to Auburn as he continues to recover from torn ligaments in his ankle.
Return of tailback U.?
Auburn had two running backs rush for more than 100 yards.
It was the first time in school history the Tigers had two 100-yard rushers in back-to-back games.
Senior Ben Tate had a career-high 157 yards on 20 carries, while freshman Onterio McCalebb added 114 yards on 16 attempts. McCalebb is the first Auburn freshman to rush for more than 100 yards in each of the first two games of the season.
Tate''s total moved him past James Bostic and Kenny Irons to 10th on the all-time rushing chart with 2,233 yards.