Midwestern State senior running back Keidrick Jackson rushed for 184 yards and two touchdowns to lead the 25th-ranked Mustangs to a 38-28 win over West Georgia Saturday night at University Stadium.
"It's good to get a win," MSU coach Bill Maskill said. "This team needed a win under its belt. We have 37 new players who made the trip who hasn't experienced a win. This was big for us. It's hard to get a win and even harder to get a win on the road."
Jackson became the first player in MSU program history to amass 100 rushing yards in 15 games on his to becoming the first running back to run for more than 3,000 career yards. He now has 3,057 career yards trailing only former All-America quarterback Daniel Polk, who had 3,590 rushing yards from 2004-07.
But Jackson, who moved passed long-time NFL running back Dominic Rhodes in career 100-yard games, was just a member of a great stable of backs to tote the mail for the Mustangs, who finished the game with 384 rushing yards.
Redshirt-freshman Dante Taylor blistered the West Georgia defense for 123 yards on nine carries including TD runs of 13 and 32 yards. He would peel off another game-best 52-yard rush in the fourth quarter.
Junior quarterback Jake Glover pitched in 65 yards on nine carries while completing 11-of-16 passes for 85 yards as the Mustangs compiled 469 yards of total offense.
"Jake handled himself well and directed the team very well today," Maskill said. "He became a threat tonight. I'm real proud of the way he played."
The Mustangs used an efficient attack to run out to a 21-7, but let the Wolves back into the game with a pair of fumbles and a long punt return before halftime.
UWG converted a fumble off of a muffed punt return into a 10-yard scoring run by Dallas Dickey in the first half, then worked the short field for a 9-yard Dickey-to-Bobby Burum touchdown toss with 1:17 to play in the opening half.
The Wolves tied the game after a mishandled exchange resulted in a Glover by fumble less than 30 seconds before intermission. Two plays later Austin Trainor found Burum in the back of the end to send the game into the half tied at 21-21.
Midwestern surged to a 14-point led riding Taylor's 32-yard score in the third quarter then he would set up Jackson's second score of the night - a 3-yard run - with a 52-yard scamper around the left end to put the Mustangs up 35-21 with 10:03 to play.
"We ran the ball a little bit better today. What discourages me is the three fumbles. We don't need that to happen at all, " Maskill said. "Our kids fought hard and we didn't give, but we relaxed at times. To be a good football team, those things can't happen."
The Wolves would pull to within a touchdown when Trainor found Joey Eliezer for a 47-yard scoring strike with 3:28 to play.
Midwestern's Daniel Laudermilk recovered the ensuing on-side kick to setup a 37-yard yard Greg Saladino field goal to give the Mustangs a 10-point cushion with less than 2 minutes to play.
MSU's Lynn Williams stepped in front of Trainor's second pass on the following drive to seal the game for the Mustangs.
The Mustangs return to Lone Star Conference play at Texas A&M-Commerce next Saturday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.