If the old adage 'defense wins championships' is correct then Mississippi State fans should rest easy based on the results from its annual Maroon-White spring game.
The Maroon team, led by much of the starting defense, edged out their White counterparts, consisting of the first team offense,...[details]
2008 (Junior): Started all 12 games at tailback during his junior season . . . Led the club and finished fifth in the Southeastern Conference by rushing 197 times for 869 yards, a 4.4-yard per carry average, and seven touchdowns . . . Exceeded the 100-yard rushing mark three times during the season . . . Also caught 20 passes for 117 yards, a 5.8-yard average, and two more scores . . . After catching just two passes in the season’s first month, he had 18 catches over the year’s final eight weeks (2.3 per game) . . . Opened his junior season by rushing a team-high 18 times for a club-best 91 yards, a 5.1-yard average, at Louisiana Tech . . . With that effort, he moved to 13th all-time at State in rushing with 1,825 yards . . . Again paced the club in rushing against Southeastern Louisiana in Week 2 . . . Carried 18 times for 80 yards, a 4.4-yard average, and two touchdowns, against the Lions . . . That performance gave him 1,905 yards rushing, 10th-best all-time at MSU, and 492 carries, the fourth-most ever . . . His first score, a 14-yard run, came with 5:39 left in the first quarter, and gave his team a 7-3 lead it would never lose . . . His final TD, a 7-yard bolt, came with 6:21 remaining in the third period, a score that lengthened the team’s lead to 34-3 at the time . . . With those two touchdowns, he moved into second place all-time at State with 25 rushing touchdowns . . . The two scores gave him 25 TDs for his career, the second-most in school history . . . Slowed by a groin injury during game-week preparations for State’s SEC opener with Auburn, he was limited to just 5 yards on seven carries against the Tigers . . . Led the team with 94 yards rushing on 13 attempts, a 7.2-yard average, one week later at Georgia Tech . . . With that effort, he reached 2,004 yards rushing on 512 carries in his career, the 10th player in school history to surpass 2,000 yards rushing . . . He is just the fifth player to rush the football more than 500 times in a career . . . Had a career-long 71-yard burst (previous: 65 vs. Arkansas, 2006) during the first quarter against the Ramblin’ Wreck . . . It was the longest rush by a Bulldog since Jerious Norwood went 76 yards at Florida in 2005 . . . Rushed 15 times for 50 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown bolt, at LSU in Week 5 . . . That score was the 26th of his career, moving him within one TD of the top of the school’s all-time leader in that category . . .
Led the team with 27 carries for 107 yards, a 4-yard average, in State’s mid-season win over Vanderbilt . . . It was his seventh career 100-yard-plus rushing game and with it, he moved into ninth place all-time at State in rushing . . . Rushed four times for 38 yards on State’s game-opening field goal drive and had 70 yards rushing by the end of the first quarter . . . Rushed 15 times for 46 yards and led all receivers with three receptions for 27 yards at Tennessee in Week 7 . . . Rushed 27 times for 126 yards, a 4.7-yard average, and three touchdowns, in his team’s homecoming win over Middle Tennessee . . . Two of his scores came in the first quarter and gave his team a 14-3 at the break . . . His final TD occurred with 9:45 left in the game and gave the Bulldogs a 31-16 lead at the time . . . Rushed a team-best 15 times for 48 yards and had one pass reception (1 yard) against Kentucky in Week 9 . . . Rushed 11 times for 26 yards and paced the club with four pass receptions for 32 yards at Alabama one week later . . . Rushed 23 times for a career-best 179 yards, a 7.8-yard average, and a touchdown, to lead the Bulldogs to victory in Week 11 game against Arkansas . . . It was his ninth career 100-yard rushing performance in his career . . . With that rushing total, he moved to fourth in school history with 2,586 yards . . . His 63-yard touchdown run with 3:43 left in the third quarter widened State’s lead to 24-14 at the time . . . That dash was the longest TD dash of the year and the second-longest of his career . . . Also caught five passes for 32 yards and two more scores against the Razorbacks . . . It was the first time in his career that he had made two TD catches in one game, and his first scoring reception in 11 games . . . The three scores give him 34 career touchdowns, the most in school history . . . His 1-yard TD catch got the Bulldogs on the scoreboard near the end of the first quarter, and his 9-yard scoring reception just into the fourth quarter closed out MSU’s scoring in the game.
2007 (Sophomore): Played in all 13 games, starting 12 times during his sophomore campaign . . . Only missed starting against UAB at mid-season on a coach’s decision . . . Rushed 287 times for 1,066 yards, a 3.7-yard average, and 14 touchdowns . . . He became just the seventh back (ninth occurrence) in school history and the first Bulldog sophomore ever to surpass 1,000 yards rushing in a single season and his attempts set a State single season record . . . Finished seventh in the SEC in rushing yards per game (82.0) and 10th in scoring (7.4 points per game) . . . He was third in the league in scoring touchdowns (14), second among all running backs . . . His rushing attempts easily eclipsed the previous MSU record (236; James Johnson, 1998) and his rushing yardage was sixth-most on the single-season chart . . . His 14 TDs were the second most ever in one year at MSU . . . He led the team in rushing 11 times (missing only at Kentucky and vs. Ole Miss) and surpassed the 100-yard rushing plateau four times . . . Also caught 14 passes for 167 yards, a 11.9-yard average, and two more scores . . . Resumed his role at the top of the depth chart at the halfback position to open his sophomore season . . . Rushed a then-career-best 27 times for a then-career-high 131 yards, a 4.9-yard per carry average, and two touchdowns, during State’s Week 2 win over Tulane . . . He gained 122 yards of that total over the final three quarters . . . Rushed five times for 32 yards on State’s final scoring drive midway through the fourth quarter, a score that provided MSU the final margin in the 38-17 victory . . . Picked up 103 yards on a career-high 29 carries, a 3.5-yard per carry average, in MState’s 19-14 win at Auburn . . . Rushed 10 times for 52 yards in the first quarter alone and added eight rushes for 21 yards on the game-winning drive during the fourth quarter . . . Played essentially just the first half of the Bulldogs’ 31-15 win over Gardner-Webb and responded with 15 carries for 88 yards, a 5.9-yard per carry average, and two touchdowns . . . His initial score, a 9-yard touchdown run, put MSU on the scoreboard first just five minutes into the game . . . Added a 12-yard TD run with 2:42 left before half, a score that gave State a 21-0 lead at the time . . . Rushed 22 times for 83 yards, a 3.8-yard per carry average, and two touchdowns at South Carolina in Week 5 . . . Scored on a 1-yard blast with 2:20 left in the first half to tie the game at 14-all at the time . . . Added a 2-yard dive mid-way through the third quarter to give MSU a 21-17 lead . . . Rushed a career-high 32 times for a career-best 152 yards, a 4.8-yard per carry average, and a career-high three touchdowns in the team’s Week 6 win over UAB . . . His rushing attempts and yards gained rushing were the most in a game since Jerious Norwood gained 204 yards on 34 attempts against Ole Miss in 2005 . . . His initial score, a 1-yard dive, pulled MSU within 10-9 with 5:46 remaining in the third period . . . His other two TDs, a 10-yard dash and a 12-yard bolt, came in a six-minute stretch of the fourth quarter and provided the Bulldogs with a 23-13 lead with two minutes left in the game . . . With his three scores, he moved into a 10th place tie all-time at State with 18 career TDs (Dennis Johnson, 1974-77) . . . He became the first Bulldog to account for three touchdowns in one game since Michael Henig accomplished that feat against Kentucky in 2006 . . . Surpassed the century mark rushing again in Week 7 vs. Tennessee . . . Rushed 26 times for 108 yards, a 4.2-yard average, and a touchdown, against the Volunteers . . . His 30-yard TD run just into the second quarter gave MSU a 14-7 lead at the time . . . It was the 19th rushing TD of his career, moving him into a ninth-place tie with Tom “Shorty” McWilliams on the school’s all-time list . . . Rushed 20 times for 61 yards and one touchdown at West Virginia in Week 8 . . . He blasted into the end zone from 1 yard out just prior to the end of the first half in Morgantown, State’s first score of the game . . . That TD was the 20th of his career, moving him into seventh all-time at State in rushing scores . . . Rushed 25 times for 75 yards and a touchdown at nationally ranked Kentucky in Week 9, a total amassed in the first three and one-half quarters . . . With that performance he moved to 19th on the school’s all-time rushing list and sixth on its rushing touchdowns chart . . . He rushed eight times for 31 yards on the team’s opening scoring drive . . . Also caught two passes (1 yard), but made the first catch of his sophomore season a meaningful one . . . Hauled in a 1-yard TD toss from Wesley Carroll just into the second quarter to give MSU a 14-7 lead at the time . . . His 1-yard TD burst came midway through the third quarter and opened a 24-7 State lead at the time . . . Rushed 26 times for 84 yards and one touchdown in State’s Week 10 win over No. 21 Alabama . . . His 3-yard TD run just into the third quarter gave MSU a 17-9 lead at the time . . . Led the team with 40 yards rushing on 17 carries against Arkansas in Week 11 . . . On his second rush of the game in the first quarter, he broke James Johnson’s single-season rushing attempts record (236 carries in 1998) . . . Set a career high with seven pass receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown in the Bulldogs’ season-ending 17-14 win over Ole Miss in the Battle For The Golden Egg, a total that included a career-long 53-yard reception . . . The 101 yards receiving marked the first time an MSU running back had surpassed the century mark in receiving yardage since Robert Isaac caught six passes for 108 yards against Louisiana Tech in 1996 . . . Hauled in a 4-yard toss from quarterback Wesley Carroll with 7:51 left in the game to give State its first sore of the game and begin the Bulldog comeback . . . Was named State’s Offensive Player of the Game in the 2007 AutoZone Liberty Bowl win over Central Florida . . . Rushed 24 times for 86 yards, a 3.6-yard per carry average, and the game’s deciding six-pointer in a 10-3 win over the Knights . . . His 1-yard smash with just under two minutes remaining in the game provided for the game’s final margin . . . Carried five times on that TD series . . . Also caught one pass (10 yards) in Memphis.
2006 (Freshman): Pressed into service from the outset of his true freshman season in the running back rotation . . . Played in all 12 games of his first year, starting five times . . . Earned opening calls vs. LSU in Week 5, Jacksonville State two weeks later, and in the final three games of the season (Alabama, Arkansas, and Ole Miss) . . . Led the team with 668 yards on 169 carries, a 4.0-yard per rush average, and nine touchdowns during his first season on campus . . . His rushing attempts, yards gained rushing, and touchdowns rushing, all marked true freshman records at Mississippi State . . . His nine TDs on the ground were the most by a Bulldog in six seasons (10; Dicenzo Miller, 2000) . . . He finished 10th in the Southeastern Conference in rushing, second among all freshmen . . . Also caught four passes for 42 yards, a 10.5-yard average . . . Rushed 14 times for 64 yards, a 4.6-yard average, in the Bulldogs’ season opener against South Carolina . . . Became the first Bulldog true freshman to lead the team in rushing in the first game of his career . . . Suffered a broken little finger on his left hand on Tuesday the week of the Auburn game . . . Underwent surgery on Wednesday morning to correct the fracture . . . Despite not practicing the remainder of that week, led the Bulldogs by rushing 15 times for 69 yards, a 4.6-yard average, against the Tigers . . . Scored the team’s first touchdown on the year in Week 3 vs. Tulane . . . Had his best game of the early portion of his true freshman season in Week 4 at UAB, leading the club in rushing for the third time in four weeks . . . Rushed 19 times for 81 yards, a 4.3-yard per carry average, and one touchdown in the win over the Blazers . . . His 1-yard TD burst with 9:11 in the fourth period handed MSU a 10-7 lead at the time . . . On that drive, he rushed five straight times for 19 yards to put the team in position for his TD bolt . . . Made his first career start at LSU in Week 5 . . . Added another rushing touchdown against West Virginia in Week 6 . . . His 1-yard bolt with 5:31 left in the game pulled MSU within 28-14 at the time . . . Carried 12 times for 37 yards, a 3.1-yard per carry average, and a season-best three touchdowns at Georgia . . . His first 5-yard scoring run came at the close of the first quarter and evened the score at 7, his second 5-yard TD run pulled MSU within 21-14 early in the third quarter, and his 3-yard blast with 10:26 remaining in the game narrowed the deficit to the game’s final score, 27-24 . . . Scored another rushing touchdown in Week 9 vs. Kentucky . . . Saved his best football for his final three starts of his true freshman season . . . Gained 335 yards, more than half his season total, during the final three games, a 111.7-yard per game average . . . Was named the Rivals.com National Freshman of the Week for his play in the Bulldogs’ Week 10 win over Alabama, a performance that included season-high rushing attempts and yardage . . . Rushed 25 times for 121 yards, a 4.8-yard per rush average, in the victory at Tuscaloosa . . . He became the first Bulldog to surpass the century mark in rushing in 10 games (Jerious Norwood vs. Ole Miss, 2005) . . . Had a then-season-best 30-yard rush against the Crimson Tide . . . Rushed four times for 29 yards, a 7.3-yard per carry average, to set up the team’s first score in the game . . . Added two rushes for 33 yards on the succeeding drive that netted a Bulldog field goal . . . Carried seven times for 17 yards on MState’s final offensive possession to help salt away the win at UA . . . Had a standout performance again one week later against Arkansas . . . Carried 17 times for 89 yards, a 5.2-yard average, and one touchdown against the Razorbacks . . . His career-long, 65-yard TD run with 1:11 left in the first quarter tied the game at 7-all at the time . . . It was the longest run from scrimmage by a Bulldog since Jerious Norwood went 66 yards on a carry against Ole Miss to close the ’05 campaign . . . Culminated his first season in Starkville with another standout performance in the finale at Ole Miss . . . Rushed 25 times for 125 yards, a 5.0-yard average, and one touchdown, against the Rebels . . . It was his second 100-yard rushing day . . . His 2-yard run 2:55 before halftime tied the game at 10 heading into halftime.
Personal: Born Anthony Rishard Dixon, 9-24-87, in Jackson, Miss. . . . Son of Mr. Anthony Williams and Ms. Velma Dixon . . . Majoring physical education.
Dixon displays good footwork and balance for a back his size. Does a nice job picking his way through the line of scrimmage. He's patient through the hole and has the lateral mobility to reach the cutback lane and square his shoulders into the open field. Possesses a strong lower body and seemingly always drives his legs through contact. Consistently is able to step through would-be tacklers at the line of scrimmage. Possesses the short-area quickness to make a man miss behind the line and create on his own play. He doesn't display an elite burst to his game, but he plays a lot faster than given credit for. He has the ability to shed a tackle and reach top-end speed quickly. But he lacks a second gear to his game and isn't a big-play threat at the second level. Possesses a strong base and displays the ability to drop his pad level in pass protection and jar a defender on contact. Looks natural in the receiving game. Adjusts quickly to the football and displays the wiggle to make a man miss in the open field. Is a physical, instinctive runner who displays impressive lateral ability for his size. Looks like a guy who could become a team's featured running back.