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SUPER SUNDAY: MSU's all-time rusher ready for the big stage

February 3, 2013

Mississippi State's all-time leading rusher Anthony Dixon celebrates a win for the San Francisco over the Saints in their last trip to New Orleans. (Photo by Bill Feig, AP)

Many young boys dream of getting an opportunity to play in a Super Bowl.

For Anthony Dixon, it will become a reality today when his San Francisco 49ers take on the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, La.

Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. and can be seen on CBS and WCBI locally.

"It's a dream come true," Dixon said. "(This is a) day I've been waiting on for 25 years now, as long as I've been playing. The Super Bowl – that's the game. That's the show. I'm real excited. I can't even put it into words. Every time somebody asks me, I say something different, but it's exciting."

Dixon holds the Mississippi State rushing record with 3,994 yards. The Terry native had offers to LSU and Alabama among others, but chose to attend MSU. 

Dixon is looking forward to not only representing the 49ers, but his alma mater as well.

"It means a lot," Dixon said. "I was one of the guys who chose to stay at State. When I was being recruited, I could have went to just about anywhere I wanted to. That's one of the things I'm excited for – to come out of Mississippi with respect. That's what it's going to be. I don't think you can ever have too much of it."

With the game being less than three hours from Dixon's hometown, it gives his family an opportunity to come see him play.

Terry is 2,142 miles from San Francisco, so it's hard for his family to come out and see him play.

Today he expects to have several friends and family in attendance.

"Oh yeah, definitely," Dixon said of the possibility of people coming to watch him play. "I won't say how many, but I am definitely filling out a lot of ticket requests."

On the other side, there is former MSU defensive lineman and Baltimore Raven Pernell McPhee.

Dixon and McPhee are familiar with each other as they played for the same college and spent a good amount of time together off the field.

"It's going to be fun," Dixon said. "We roomed together for one year.

That's like my little brother. One thing I'm going to tell him when I see him on the sideline, is 'I'm going to kick his butt.' We aren't going to be with friends when we get out there, but McPhee is my guy. We went through a lot together at State that one year. We know a lot about each other and we still talk to this day. It's going to be a good one.

We competed a lot. I know he is going to want it just as bad as I do."
Playing in one of the biggest football games of the year doesn't leave much time for a social life, let alone time to talk to the opposing team.

Dixon hadn't talked to McPhee yet, but he planned on contacting him.

"I'm going to get around to it," Dixon said. "I will probably mess with him a little bit. I know it's going to be a big game for him. I want to see him play good, I just don't want them to win."

Dixon has been used in a limited role this year on offense. He has rushed for 78 yards on 21 attempts. He has also scored two touchdowns.

Dixon did score the game icing touchdown against the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round and picked up a huge first down to help the 49ers beat the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game.

He may not be a big contributor on the field, but it's what he brings off the field that Dixon is proud of.

"(I bring) just a good attitude, more focus and more intensity," Dixon said. "I play a lot of special teams. I am very limited on offense, but when I get in, I try to help out. My thing is to just to bring the energy, bring the pain and just play it all the way out."

San Francisco made a huge change to its offense in the middle of the season. Quarterback Alex Smith, who played for MSU head coach Dan Mullen at Utah, was injured.

Backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick was thrust into the starting role and after one game he won the starting job.

"He is a great talent, he's a great player and a good person," Dixon said. "He makes a lot of play. He's got an arm and he's got a cannon.

That's the guy for us right now. Alex is a great guy too. He was making a lot of plays for us when he played. If he was still playing right now, I would say that's the guy. We have faith in both of them. I feel like both of them have made each other the quarterback that they are. It has been a competition all year and it just so happens Colin has got it right now."

The big story line of the Super Bowl is brother versus brother. San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh and Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh are brothers.
 
For the 49ers, that hasn't been a topic of conversation.

"We have just been focused on getting our plan in and getting the prep for that day," Dixon said. "We really have been focusing on each other and trying to get on the same page. We haven't talked much about them.

Everything is about us."

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