Bulldogs Notch Road Win At Kentucky, 28-16
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Behind
a three-touchdown night from quarterback Chris Relf, the Mississippi
State football team won its first Southeastern Conference game of the
season, 28-16 over the Kentucky Wildcats on a crisp, cool fall night at
MSU won its third straight in the series
and also won for the seventh time ever in Lexington. Behind the strong
play of Relf and quarterbacking counterpart Tyler Russell, the Maroon
and White built a 21-6 halftime lead and withstood a late UK rally.
the win, the Bulldogs improved to 4-4 overall and 1-4 in league play.
Kentucky dropped to 3-5 and 0-4. MSU is now within two wins of earning
bowl eligibility for a second straight season.
alternated quarterbacks for most series throughout the contest. On some
occasions, Russell started the drive with Relf being used in
short-yardage situations. For the contest, Russell was 9-of-12 passing
for 172 yards with a touchdown. Relf was 6-of-9 passing for 69 yards
with a touchdown and an interception. Relf also contributed to the
rushing game with six keeps for 13 yards and a pair of scores.
spotting Kentucky an early 3-0 lead, the Bulldogs responded with
back-to-back scoring drives. Relf led the Bulldogs on an 80-yard,
eight-play scoring march. The big play on the march was a 26-yard
completion to Chad Bumphis. Relf would later hit Ricco Sanders for a
pair of 15-yard completions, including the touchdown.
forced a Kentucky punt. This time, the Bulldogs moved 65 yards on six
plays. Russell made the highlight throw on this drive with a 40-yard
pitch-and-catch to Michael Carr. A 9-yard rush by LaDarius Perkins,
preceded a 3-yard scoring rush by Relf.
The Bulldogs' second
lost fumble of the half put Kentucky on the edge of the red zone again.
The MSU defense stiffened and UK's Craig McIntosh was true on a 22-yard
MSU moved 80 yards on five plays to set up the 21-6
advantage at halftime. Russell hit Marcus Green on a 50-yard pass
reception. Relf capped the driving with a 12-yard touchdown rush.
third field goal brought the Wildcats within 21-9 midway through the
third quarter. The Maroon and White then slammed the door with their
third 80-yard drive of the contest. Russell hit Arceto Clark for a big
26-yard pickup and later found Malcolm Johnson on a 13-yard scoring
For the Bulldogs, a season-long struggle in the red zone
ended for one night at least, as MSU scored four different red zone
touchdowns in the contest.
Kentucky answered early in the fourth
quarter. The Wildcats completed a critical fourth down before closing
out a 70-yard, 11-play drive with a 4-yard rushing touchdown from
From there, the Bulldog defense stiffened and closed the deal.
finished with 21 first downs and 398 total yards. The Bulldogs ran 32
times for 134 yards, while overcoming three turnovers. Vick Ballard ran
17 times for a team-high 87 yards.
Kentucky finished with 18
first downs and 307 total yards. The Wildcats completed 29-of-38 passes
for 189 yards, while running 39 times for 118 yards. Kentucky did not
commit a turnover.