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By: Scott Crumbly
SEC Digital Network
LEXINGTON, Ky. – No. 20 Mississippi State improved to 5-0 for the fourth time in program history on Saturday afternoon with a 27-14 win over Kentucky at Commonwealth Stadium. The Bulldogs (5-0, 2-0 SEC) controlled the clock throughout the game, finishing with nearly 36 minutes of possession to the Wildcats’ 24.
Mississippi State set the tone of the game in the first half of play, outgaining Kentucky (1-5, 0-3) 278 yards to 90 in the first two quarters while running 25 more plays. The Bulldogs held the ball for 20:27 of the first 30 minutes, and held a 20-7 advantage over UK heading into the break.
LaDarius Perkins paced MSU on the ground with 105 yards and a touchdown while his quarterback Tyler Russell added two more scores through the air. Chad Bumphis was big on the outside for Dan Mullen’s team as well, gaining 104 yards on nine catches. The Bulldogs’ advantage in time of possession was aided by 158 rushing yards that helped chew up clock, and the MSU defense limited Kentucky to just 84 yards of their own on the ground.
Patrick Towles saw action at quarterback for the Wildcats and threw a touchdown in the third quarter to receiver La’Rod King, but Towles and fellow QB Jalen Whitlow were only able to manage 144 total passing yards as a tandem.
Passing – Jalen Whitlow, 10-for-21, 73 yards
Rushing – Raymond Sanders, 13 car, 43 yards
Receiving – La’Rod King, 2 rec, 46 yards, TD
Passing – Tyler Russell, 23-for-39, 269 yards, 2 TD
Rushing – LaDarius Perkins, 24 car, 105 yards, TD
Receiving – Chad Bumphis, 9 rec, 104 yards, TD
· Due to a scheduling quirk from conference expansion, Mississippi State played in Lexington for the second consecutive season. The last time these two teams played in the same location in back-to-back seasons was in 2001-2002 in Starkville.
· The last time MSU started 5-0 was in 1999, and the Bulldogs went on to an 8-0 start that season and finished the year 10-2.
· With its 27 points, Mississippi State has now scored 20 or more points in its first five games for the first time since 1985.
· UK still leads the overall series 21-19 and 12-8 in Lexington.