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No. 23 Bulldogs Move To 4-0 With 30-10 Victory Against Jags

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Tyler Russell threw for 171 yards and rushed for a TD for the Bulldogs.
Photo Courtesy of Mansel Guerry

STARKVILLE, Miss. - In a theme that's become quite familiar at home this season, Mississippi State's offense continued to put up the points while the defense remained stingy.

This time, the victim was South Alabama.

In front of a Scott Field crowd of 55,186 and the 19th-straight sellout on Saturday, the 23rd-ranked Bulldogs overcame a sluggish first-quarter to roll past the Jaguars, 30-10.

As a result, MSU (4-0), has now outscored its three opponents at home by a convincing 114-29 margin.

But on this first official day of fall, points would be elusive until the second quarter. Thanks to LaDarius Perkins, though, the Bulldogs struck first on his 44-yard scoring scamper for the 7-0 advantage.

Two possessions later, the lead swelled to 14-0 on a 2-yard plunge by Dak Prescott with 5:38 left.

After Devon Bell made it a 17-0 affair on a 42-yard field goal, the defense set up the final points of the half when Nickoe Whitley intercepted a Ross Methany pass and returned it 66 yards to the South Alabama 26 with 30 seconds to play.

Four plays later, Bell struck again from 42 yards as MSU went into the half up 20-0.

In the third quarter, quarterback Tyler Russell got in on the scoring when he scored on a keeper from 1-yard out.

Bell accounted for Mississippi State's final points when he drilled his third field goal of the evening, this time from 31 yards, for a 30-3 lead.

With the game decided, the Jaguars (1-3) finally scored a touchdown when C.J. Bennett connected with Greg Hollinger on an 18-yard scoring strike.

On the night, the Bulldogs, now 4-0 for the first time since 1999, manufactured 356 yards while holding USA to 347 yards. On the ground, Perkins accounted for 69 yards, while Russell completed 13 of his 27 passes for 171 yards. His top receivers were Brandon Heavens and Chris Smith, who both had three receptions for 55 and 45 yards, respectively.

Defensively, MSU forced three turnovers, with one coming on a Johnthan Banks interception, the 15th of his career and one shy of the school record held by Walt Harris. The final miscue was the result of a Chris Hughes fumble recovery. Overall, Whitley led the Bulldogs with seven tackles, five solo.

Mississippi State doesn't play again until it travels to Kentucky on Oct. 6 before returning home to face Tennessee on Oct. 13.


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