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Jabar Gaffney caught two third quarter TD passes

Saturday September 30, 2000Bulldogs hand the Gators their first loss, 47-35

Starkville, MS

Jabar Gaffney caught two third quarter TD passes

Dicenzo Miller and Dontae Walker combined to rush for 328 yards as the Mississippi State Bulldogs handed the third-ranked Florida Gators their first loss of the season, 47-35. In all, Mississippi State's ground attack accounted for 351 of the team's 517 yards. Meanwhile, Mississippi State's defense forced three turnovers and stopped the Gators on three fourth-and-one plays in the first half.

"We're just an average team with alot of problems and we've got to make alot of changes," said Gator coach Steve Spurrier during his postgame radio interview. "It was a bad day."

Spurrier said his team is just not executing the fundamentals. "Our players can't tackle very well, they can't get off blocks and this has been happening about four games now."

Jesse Palmer started the game at quarterback for Florida, but sprained his ankle in the first half and was replaced by Rex Grossman. The redshirt freshman brought the Gators back to within one point, 24-23, with a pair of touchdown passes to Jabar Gaffney in the third quarter.

"I tried to step it up when he (Palmer) went down," said Grossman. "Brock (Berlin) and I were going to rotate to see if we could pull off a victory here. Obviously that didn't happen."

Berlin finished the game and threw the first touchdown pass of his career - a 19-yard strike to fellow freshman Matt Jackson late in the fourth quarter.

Bulldog quarterback Wayne Madkin threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Larry Huntington and scored on runs of one and five yards to help Mississippi State build a 47-23 lead.

The Bulldogs are now 3-1 overall and 1-1 in league play. The Gators fall to 4-1 and 2-1 in the SEC. Florida is home to face LSU next Saturday. Game time is yet to be determined.

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