STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State football cruised past Southern Miss 38-15 in Saturday’s home opener at Davis Wade Stadium.
Mississippi State (2-0) jumped out to a 28-0 lead in the third quarter before Southern Miss (1-1) ended the shutout with a touchdown later in the third quarter. State added a field goal in the fourth quarter before the squads each traded one more touchdown in the game.
Senior quarterback Tommy Stevens completed nine consecutive passes for 105 yards, which included a 28-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Osirus Mitchell and an 11-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Stephen Guidry. Senior running back Nick Gibson then added a 13-yard rushing touchdown to give State a 21-0 lead at halftime.
The Bulldogs would extend their lead to 28-0 at the 6:37 mark in the third quarter when junior running back Kylin Hill found the end zone from the 3-yard line. The Golden Eagles then got on the board when junior quarterback Jack Abraham found sophomore wide receiver Jaylond Adams for a 28-yard strike late into the quarter.
The Bulldogs increased their lead early in the fourth quarter when junior kicker Jace Christmann made a 30-yard field goal to make it 31-7. Southern Miss’ biggest offensive play came at the 6:31 mark in the fourth quarter when Abraham found senior wide receiver Jordan Mitchell for a 65-yard strike.
Bulldogs freshman running back Lee Witherspoon ended the game’s scoring with a a 22-yard touchdown run with 2:20 remaining in the game to make it a 38-15 game.
Freshman quarterback Garrett Shrader, who entered the game late into the second quarter for an injured Stevens, finished the game with 71 passing yards on 7-of-11 passing to go along with 16 rushing yards on nine attempts.
The Bulldog rushing attack surpassed 200 yards on the ground, with Hill leading the squad with 123 yards on 14 carries.
As a defense, the Bulldogs limited the Golden Eagles to 344 total yards of offense, including just 151 yards in the first half. Senior safety Brian Cole II led the defense with seven tackles, 2 1⁄2 tackles for loss and one sack. Senior safety Jaquarius Landrews also finished with seven tackles.
As for Stevens, head coach Joe Moorhead says it’s an upper-body injury, but he will not have an update on Stevens’ status until Monday.
The Bulldogs will be back in action next Saturday when they host Kansas State. Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. CT at Davis Wade Stadium and will be televised by ESPN or ESPN2.