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Mississippi State beats Miami on PAT block in St. Petersburg Bowl

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It might not have been one of the premier bowl games of the season, but the St. Petersburg Bowl delivered on drama Monday afternoon.

Nelson Adams blocked a 37-yard field goal attempt by Miami of Ohio’s Nick Dowd, preserving a 17-16 victory by Mississippi State. It ended a six-game winning streak by Miami and left the Redhawks 6-7 on the season. Mississippi State finished 6-7 as well, making it a rare bowl game where both teams left with losing records.

Mississippi State quarterback combined for 268 yards: 136 passing and 132 rushing.

Quarterback Gus Ragland threw for 263 yards and two scores to lead the Redhawks.

Receiver James Gardner, from Fort Lauderdale, caught five passes for 92 yards.

Mississippi State had a chance to kick another field goal late in the game, but went for it (and failed) on fourth and four. “I guess I don’t look as dumb as I could have looked,” said coach Dan Mullen.

Earlier in the game, Miami had gone for a fourth-and-13, but Ragland threw an interception. Ragland had thrown for 15 touchdowns and no interceptions in the team’s final six games.

The Bulldogs had only 48 yards in the first half and only 141 after a half.

“You continue to grind, you continue to work, you’re going to have success in life,” Mullen said.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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