Dawgs look for win number 5 in game number 4 vs. felines
#20 MSU plays on a beautiful day in Lexington.
State gets the ball first, and Russell throws a rope to Arceto Clark to start if off for a 14 yard gain. Adrian Marcus caught a 10 yard TD pass to complete the drive - 13 plays, 85 yards, lasting 5:45. Russell was 5 of 7. 7-0 State.
UK's freshman QB Jalen Whitlow looked a bit outmatched on their first drive, 3 and out.
The stadium looked about 70% full. Russell completed a couple of 3rd & longs but it eventually caught up with him and he got laid out on a 3rd & 6 throw, drive ends in a punt.
Deontae Skinner laid some wood of his own to force another 3 and out.
Russell goes deep (45 yard pass) to Brandon Heavens in the endzone, but it was under thrown, nearly intercepted. Perkins breaks loose for an electrifying 31 yard TD run. 14-0 State.
Kentucky brings in another frosh QB, Patrick Towles, for the 3rd drive.
At the end of the 1st quarter, MSU 14, UK 0.
Towles sparks the UK offense going 5 for 5 and throwing a TD on some horribly blown coverage by Jamerson Love. 14-7 State.
After seeing Dak Prescott convert a 4th & 2 and 3rd &1, UK stuffs him on a 3rd & 1, forcing a punt.
It was Kentucky, but State's D-line probably had their best game in the one. 3 and out.
Russell lofts a pretty pass over Perkins' shoulder for a 16 yard pickup on 3rd & 10. After having Prescott in on 1st & goal, he was taken out and MSU settled for a 20 yard FG. 17-7 State.
Christian Holmes lit up the kick returner on the ensuing kickoff. Sack by Denico Autry pinned them deep and forced a punt. Towles got hurt on the play and never returned.
With :53 left in the half and one timeout, State went 50 yards and Devon Bell hit a 37 yard FG as time expired.
At the half: MSU 20, UK 7. State dominated the 1st half: 20:27 - 9:33 in time of possession, 17-4 in 1st downs, 278-90 in total yards. One of the things they were able to do in this game that they didn't in others was convert on 3rd down, 7 of 11 in the 1st half; that could be attributed to the UK defense as well, as they were giving up 53% coming into the game.
Mullen: We had a couple of brain farts.
On the first play of the 2nd half, Jalen Whitlow was back in the game and Corey Broomfield had an excellent shot at getting a pick, but he couldn't hang on. 3 and out for the Cats after a sack by Shane McCardell. Horrible 27 yard punt.
MSU starts the drive on the Kentucky 40 yard line. The Wilcats brought a weak blitz and Russell hit Bumphis in stride for a 27 yard touchdown - like taking candy from a baby. 27-7 State.
On 2nd and 1, Johnthan Banks snuffs out a quick pass and gets a tackle for a 4 yard loss. That forces them to throw on 3rd down and McKinney makes a play to get another punt.
On 2nd down, Russell rolled out and and a Kentucky LB blew him up, but he was able to hold on to the ball. Nevertheless, 3 and out. Baker Swedenberg with probably his worst punt of the year, only 16 yards.
To kick of the next drive, Whitlow had a nice 13 yard run. Then he finally completes a nice pass for another 13 yards, followed up by a 9 yard run by Sanders. Whitlow was able to run in for a 3 yard TD on 3rd and goal, all of the sudden UK has a little momentum while MSU is falling asleep. 27-14 State.
On the ensuing kickoff, Joker Philips gambles with a surprise onside kick and they recover it. The play was reviewed and it was determined that the kicker did not touch the ball before it went 10 yards, so the gamble payed off. The next play Whtilow ran for a first down - this is where you start to scratch your head as a State fan. But the Dawg's D bowed up and Josh Boyd finished a 3rd & 5 off with a sack for -10 yards....UK punt.
State gets a first down on a Perkins run, but then have to punt again.
Whitlow completed a pass that would have gotten them to midfield, but WR Collins was flagged for questionable offensive pass interference call and it backed them inside their own 20. Drive ends in a punt.
Next drive for State, Russell appears to hit Bumphis on a 25 yard pass play, but the safety knocks it out. If he would have caught that it may have had an even better day (finished with 9 catches for 104 yards). Perkins picks up a 3 &12 with a 22 yard reception but Russell gets hit hard yet again. On the next play, Russell gets lit up another time and it is nearly a fumble, but ruled an incomplete pass. The Bulldogs had a pretty nice drive going (11 plays, 62 yards) but Chris Smith fumbled inside the 25 yard line and UK recovered.
The Wildcats got a little something going with 30 yards on 7 plays, but they turned the ball over on downs at MSU's 44 yard line.
3 runs for State, 8 yards gained, punt.
Kentucky tries it again, and this time they only muster one first down and don't convert on 4th down for the second straight drive.
The Dawgs got the ball back, drove all the way down to the 2 yard line, but the clock ran out and Mullen didn't want to rub it in, taking a knee on the final play.
MSU 27, UK 14.