Will Rogers’ record day lifts Mississippi St. to upset of No. 12 Kentucky
Will Rogers set school and SEC single-game records by completing 92.3 percent of his passes and threw for 344 yards as Mississippi State rolled to a 31-17 victory over No. 12 Kentucky in SEC play on Saturday night at Starkville, Miss.
Rogers completed 36 of 39 passes and threw one touchdown pass, Dillon Johnson rushed for two scores and the defense forced four turnovers to help the Bulldogs score 31 consecutive points in one stretch while winning their second straight game. Jalen Green, Shawn Preston Jr. and Cameron Young recorded interceptions and Jett Johnson recovered a fumble for Mississippi State (5-3, 3-2 SEC).
Will Levis was intercepted three times while completing 17 of 28 passes for 150 yards and one touchdown for Kentucky (6-2, 4-2). Josh Ali returned a punt 74 yards for a touchdown for the Wildcats, who dropped their sixth consecutive game in Starkville.
The Bulldogs outgained Kentucky 438 to 216 while controlling the ball for 41 minutes and 10 seconds.
The Wildcats, who lost their second straight game, possessed the ball for just 5:42 in the second half and ran only 17 plays.
Mississippi State led 14-10 at halftime before dominating the third quarter and adding on 17 points.
The Bulldogs took the third-quarter kickoff and drove 66 yards on 14 plays and Brandon Ruiz booted a 27-yard field goal to cap the drive of eight minutes and 26 seconds.
Kentucky took over and Chris Rodriguez lost a fumble on the second play and Jett Johnson recovered at the Wildcats’ 22-yard line. Three plays later, Dillon Johnson scored from the 1 to give Mississippi State a 24-10 lead.
More disaster occurred on Kentucky’s next play from scrimmage as Levis’ pass was tipped by Tyrus Wheat and intercepted by Young, who returned it five yards to the Wildcats’ 24.
Three plays later, Rogers tossed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Rara Thomas to increase the lead to 31-10.
Kentucky finally scored an offensive touchdown with 13:37 left in the game when Levis threw a 17-yard scoring pass to DeMarcus Harris.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 10-0 lead behind Ali’s 74-yard punt return midway through the first quarter and Matt Ruffolo’s 41-yard field goal with 12:14 left in the second.
The Bulldogs received a 7-yard scoring run by Jo’quavious Marks with 7:45 left in the half and took a four-point lead on Dillon Johnson’s 9-yard run with 1:40 remaining.
–Field Level Media