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Exciting Second Half Leads State To 45-14 Win Over Arkansas

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LaDarius Perkins hauls in the second of his two touchdown receptions on the day.
Photo Courtesy of Mansel Guerry

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Behind Mississippi State's five forced turnovers, the Bulldogs (8-3, 4-3 SEC) produced 38 unanswered points to claim a 45-14 victory against the Arkansas Razorbacks (4-7, 2-5 SEC) at Davis Wade Stadium on Saturday.

After receiving the opening kickoff, MSU drove the ball 75 yards on 15 plays to take an early 7-0 lead. Tyler Russell hit LaDarius Perkins on a wheel route in the corner of the endzone for the first of four touchdown tosses on the day for Russell.

The Razorbacks promptly answered the Bulldogs' scoring drive with an 86-yard, 11-play march of their own, capped by a 30-yard pass from Tyler Wilson to Cobi Hamilton to tie the game at seven.

Arkansas would tack on another touchdown early in the second quarter before MSU went on its 38-0 scoring run, aided by an Arkansas fumbled punt after the Razorbacks had stopped State deep in its own territory.

After the recovered fumble, Devon Bell got the rally started with a 39-yard field goal with 9:38 left before halftime.

On the next drive, State marched 78 yards on only five plays. Russell connected with senior Chad Bumphis for a 6-yard score to take a 17-14 lead into the locker room.

With just under six minutes left in the third quarter, Dan Mullen's offense found itself facing a fourth-and-one from the Razorback 4-yard line. Redshirt freshman Dak Prescott plunged over the right side for MSU's third touchdown.

After Cameron Lawrence recovered a Razorback fumble, Russell would again find Perkins two plays later on a wheel route to give the Bulldogs a 31-14 advantage.

Following a Preston Smith fumble recovery, Russell hit Bumphis for the second time with a 22-yard strike on the second play of the fourth quarter.

Darius Slay prematurely ended Arkansas' next drive with an interception, and on the next play, sophomore tailback Nick Griffin took the option for a career-long 60 yards to the end zone.

Russell finished 19-of-32 for 274 yards and four touchdowns. The junior also set three new MSU offensive records during the game, including single-season completions, passing yards and 200-yard passing games.

Perkins paced the Bulldog rushing attack with 91 yards on 17 carries. Griffin also added two rushes for 68 yards and a score.

In his final game in Starkville, Bumphis led all receivers with 82 yards on six catches, including two touchdown grabs. The Tupelo native became the first receiver in MSU history to record 10 touchdown catches in a season. Clark and Perkins also added 61 yards and 40 yards, respectively.

Defensively, Lawrence led the way with 11 stops, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup. Linebacker Deontae Skinner turned in two tackles for loss, while Denico Autry and Smith each tallied a sack. Jamerson Love intercepted the first pass of his career as well.

The Bulldogs return to action next Saturday, Nov. 24, in Oxford for the 108th edition of the Battle for the Golden Egg against rival Ole Miss. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. with ESPNU and the Mississippi State Radio Network on the broadcast.



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