STARKVILLE, Miss. — The #21 Mississippi State football team had a strong second half as the Bulldogs cruised to a 52-6 victory over Arkansas on senior day at Davis Wade Stadium Saturday afternoon.
With the victory, the Bulldogs improve to 7-4 (3-4 SEC), while Arkansas fell to 2-9 (0-7 SEC).
In total, the Bulldogs tallied 475 yards of offense against the Razorbacks, including 188 passing yards and 287 rushing yards.
Senior quarterback Nick Fitzgerald threw four touchdowns on 9-14 passing for 127 yards. Sophomore quarterback Keytaon Thompson added 3-4 passing for 61 yards and a touchdown pass to freshman wide receiver Austin Williams.
The Bulldog rushing attack put together 287 yards. Senior running back Aeris Williams led the way with 104 yards on 15 attempts. Fitzgerald added 85 yards on 14 carries. Junior running back Nick Gibson and senior back Dontavian Lee added 48 yards and 38 yards respectively, while Thompson rounded things off with 12 yards on a pair of carries.
MSU started slow, putting up just three points in the first quarter on a 19-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Jace Christmann to take a 3-0 lead. A two-yard rushing touchdown from Fitzgerald and a eight-yard rush from Gibson increased the lead to 17-0 before the Razorbacks managed a field goal to make it 17-3 at the half.
Arkansas put up another field goal to begin the third quarter, but it was all Bulldogs from there.
Fitzgerald threw three touchdowns in the third quarter with connections to senior tight end Justin Johnson, junior wide receiver Keith Mixon and sophomore wide receiver Osirus Mitchell to put the Bulldogs up 38-6.
A pair of fourth quarter touchdowns to Austin Williams, a 19-yard pass from Fitzgerald and a 33-yard pass from Thompson, ended the game’s scoring.
Defensively, the Bulldogs continued to impress, holding Arkansas to just 219 total yards, including just 69 rushing yards on 35 attempts. The defense also only surrendered 150 passing yards on 35 pass attempts.
Senior safety Johnathan Abram once again anchored the defense with a team-high and career-high 12 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss (1.5 sacks), and a forced fumble.
The Bulldogs’ next game is the annual regular-season-ending Battle for the Golden Egg against Ole Miss on Thanksgiving night in Oxford. Game time is set for 6:30 p.m. CT at Ole Miss’ Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.