MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Sylvester Croom and Mississippi State capped a turnaround season built on defense with one of their stingiest efforts.
Anthony Dixon scored on a 1-yard run with 1:54 remaining, Derek Pegues had two interceptions and Mississippi State kept Central Florida's Kevin Smith from breaking the single-season rushing record in a 10-3 victory at the Liberty Bowl on Saturday.
In a game featuring anemic offenses and few big plays, the Bulldogs (8-5) kept Central Florida (10-4) out of the end zone and held Smith to 119 yards. The junior finished 61 yards shy of Barry Sanders' single-season record of 2,628 yards set for Oklahoma State in 1988.
It was the lowest scoring Liberty Bowl since Penn State beat Tulane 9-6 in 1979.
Dixon finished with 66 yards and won the game with a 1-yard dive after Kyle Israel threw his third interception.
The Bulldogs held the Knights to 219 yards and forced four turnovers.