Bad night: Wildcats put damper on plans of Bulldogs


Mississippi State's Nick Fitzgerald reacts to a penalty thrown by an official at Kentucky on Saturday night.

By: 
GARY B. GRAVES
The Associated Press

It was raining in Kentucky on Saturday night, but it was more than the weather that put a damper on the plans of the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

Benny Snell Jr. of the Kentucky Wildcats did more than enough to cause a bad night for the Bulldogs.

Short touchdown runs that put Kentucky ahead turned out being just the start for Snell.

The junior running back took his game up a notch with a pair of longer touchdowns that not only earned a couple Wildcats records, but put the exclamation point on a thorough upset of No. 14 Mississippi State.

"I think we played hard in all three phases," first-year Bulldogs coach Joe Moorhead said. "We just didn't execute with the precision we needed to beat a team of Kentucky's caliber."

Snell rushed for four touchdowns to break a Kentucky career record, including two in the fourth quarter, and the Wildcats held the Bulldogs to 56 yards rushing for a 28-7 upset.

After Tyrell Ajian's 35-yard interception return to the Bulldogs 36, Snell broke left and down the left sideline for his third score with 8 minutes remaining to break Randall Cobb's previous mark of 37 total touchdowns from 2008-10.

Snell added a 23-yard TD run on the next possession for 21-point cushion the Wildcats (4-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) preserved for their second win over a ranked school this month. Kentucky beat then-No. 25 Florida 27-16 two weeks ago to break a 31-game losing streak to the Gators.

This victory was more rewarding as Kentucky dominated the physical Bulldogs in many phases. Snell helped set the stage with touchdown runs of 1 and 2 yards to finish with 165 on 25 carries, his 15th career 100-yard game. His four rushing scores also matched a school record he shares with Don Phelps. Kentucky rushed for 229 overall and outgained the Bulldogs 300-201 under a steady drizzle.

MSU (3-1, 0-1) meanwhile was hit in the mouth after outscoring opponents by a 150-26 margin.

The Bulldogs were held nearly 256 rushing yards below their SEC-leading average of 311.7 coming in. They only managed Nick Fitzgerald's 1-yard TD run midway through the second quarter before Kentucky tied the game with 50 seconds left in the half on Snell's first TD from 2 yards.

MSU never got back in gear and gained just 53 yards after the break.

Category: