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Points and snow plentiful in Shreveport

By By Richard Dark/The Meridian Star
Jan. 1, 2001
SHREVEPORT Points and records fell as hard as the snow in Northwestern Louisiana on New Year's Eve.
White New Year: A driving snowstorm hit Independence Stadium approximately half an hour before kickoff and continued steadily throughout the entire game.
Game time temperatures were 28 degrees with a wind chill factor of 10. With 15 mph gusting winds, the snow was falling horizontally from left to right. The first snowplow sighting in Independence Bowl history came after the Aggies scored their second touchdown of the game with eight minutes remaining in the first quarter. The plow cleared off the north end zone line.
Play of the Game: Dontae' Walker's 40-yard blizzard beating jaunt midway through the second quarter. Although many may point to more dramatic late scores, this one served to wake up the large MSU contingent, or rather give those in the snow drifts something to cheer about. It also served as a confidence booster for the Bulldogs that they too could play in the blinding storm.
Glaring Stat: Both teams had five kickoff returns, but State, behind Larry Huntington collected 128 yards, to just 57 for A&M. Another lopsided count would be just two passing yards for MSU in the third quarter.
Did you notice?: The Bulldogs. At first glance, it may have been a bit difficult. In the snow, State was in all white. It was the first time since the early 70's that MSU donned the white helmets.
SEC streaky in Shreveport: Entering the game with A&M, the Southeastern Conference had won five straight Indy Bowl contests.
Getting his totes: The 35 carries by Aggie running back Ja'Mar Toomes is the most in I-Bowl history. He was also the game's leading rusher with 193 yards on 35 carries.
Walker's 18-points scored ties an I-Bowl record by Deuce McCallister, when the Ole Miss Rebels defeated Texas Tech.
The 11 touchdowns scored by both teams set an I-Bowl record. The previous mark was nine by Michigan St. and LSU in 1995.
MSU won back-to-back bowls for the first time in school history.
Richard Dark is a sports writer for the Meridian Star. E-mail him at rdark@themeridianstar.com.

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