While it seemed like danger lurked around the corner when Arkansas exploded to a 14-7 lead, the Mississippi State Bulldogs righted the ship and steered themselves to a 45-14 victory on senior day at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville.
The Bulldogs (8-3, 4-3) dominated play staring in the second quarter, and the squad exploded in the second half to score 38 unanswered points. Even though the offense put those points on the board, the much-maligned defense and a special teams play jumpstarted the run.
With the Bulldogs traling 14-7, Arkansas forced the Bulldogs to punt, but Mississippi State recovered the muffed punt, turning the miscue into a 39-yard field goal from Devon Bell to cut the Razorbacks' lead to 14-10.
The Mississippi State defense then forced the following Arkansas: four turnovers (two fumbles and two interceptions), a turnover on downs, and four punts.
The offense came to life as well, scoring on four of their next seven full possessions.
In the third quarter, the Bulldogs scored on Dak Prescott's four-yard run, and a little more than four minutes later, Russell tossed his second touchdown pass, third of the game, to LaDarius Perkins on a 24-yard pick up to put the Bulldogs up 31-14 with 1:31 in the third quarter.
The explosion continued in the fourth quarter when Russell, who finished with 274 yards on 19 of 32 passing, connected with Bumphis, who finished with 62 yards, on a second touchdown, this one a 22-yard pass with 14:50 to play to push the Bulldogs lead to 38-14.
Nick Griffin got in on the action on a 60-yard scoring run with 12:22 to play in the fourth quarter to give Mississippi State a 45-14 lead.
Things did not look so sure for Mississippi State early in the game. After an opening drive that saw the Bulldogs go 75 yards on 15 plays to take a 7-0 lead on Russell's touchdown pass to Perkins, who finished with 91 yards on the ground and 40 yards receiving, Arkansas (4-7, 2-5) answered with back to back scoring drives, capped off by a wide open Cobi Hamilton hauling in a 30-yard score and Dennis Johnson catching a seven-yard score from Tyler Wilson, who finished with 225 yards in the game.