NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Mississippi State bounced back from last week’s drubbing by handing out a 45-6 drubbing of their own versus Vanderbilt in front of a Nashville crowd on Saturday night.
The Bulldogs improve to 4-3 (2-2 SEC), while the Commodores continue to search for their footing, dropping to 2-6 (0-4 SEC).
Last year, the two teams played to a hard-fought 24-17 final score, of which the Bulldogs were victorious due to five turnovers on the part of the Commodores.
This year’s matchup was no less sloppy, but much more lopsided.
Quarterback Will Rogers struggled with his decision making and accuracy at times, throwing two interceptions (one was tipped) and nearly a third.
The offensive line also had lapses, allowing Vanderbilt’s defense to consistently generate pressure, a unit that has struggled to generate consistent pressure all season.
Despite these growing pains, the Bulldogs still had their most successful offensive output of the season.
Mississippi State outgained Vanderbilt 524-155 in total yards.
Rogers finished the game completing 42 of 58 passes for 386 yards and four touchdowns, the latter tying a career high.
Backup quarterback Chance Lovertich, a senior transfer from South Alabama, took his first snaps of the season late in the fourth quarter and threw his first touchdown in a Mississippi State uniform.
Thirteen different Bulldogs caught a pass in the blowout win.
The defense was sound from start to finish, with Emmanuel Forbes grabbing his second interception of the season.
In the postgame interview, head coach Mike Leach described the entire team’s performance as “explosive but inconsistent,” and stated that the Bulldogs created their own adversity but pushed through it, before giving his in-depth thoughts on his favorite candy and how he goes about acquiring it.
Mississippi State will host Kentucky next Saturday at 6 p.m. CT on SEC Network.