By Scott Crumbly
SEC Digital Network
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STARKVILLE, Miss. – Since arriving at Mississippi State in 2009, Dan Mullen is the only Southeastern Conference coach to average over 50 points per game in season-openers over the last three years. Mullen’s Bulldogs turned in another high-scoring performance in their 2012 debut on Saturday night, downing Jackson State 56-9 in Starkville.
The Bulldogs (1-0) jumped out in front of the Tigers on the strength of Tyler Russell’s right arm. The junior quarterback tossed a pair of touchdown passes in the opening half for Mississippi State, finding Chad Bumphis and Marcus Green for scores. LaDarius Perkins chipped in two rushing touchdowns of his own, and the Bulldogs cruised into the half with a 29-point advantage.
The MSU defense aided the scoring effort with two interceptions returned for touchdowns off JSU signal-caller Dedric McDonald. Bulldogs’ corner Darius Slay was the beneficiary of an errant throw by McDonald on the first defensive score and linebacker Matthew Wells made the highlight reel with his pick-six in the third quarter.
Mississippi State averaged 5.2 yards per carry for the game on its way to 194 rushing yards. The Bulldogs will open up their Southeastern Conference schedule next week when they host Auburn.
Passing – Tyler Russell, 15-of-23, 175 yards, 2 TD
Rushing – Derrick Milton, 8 car, 65 yards, 1 TD
Receiving – Arceto Clark, 3 rec, 36 yards
Passing – Dedric McDonald, 14-of-27, 136 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing – B.J. Lee, 8 car, 45 yards
Receiving – Rico Richardson, 7 rec, 95 yards