Kentucky improved to 4-0, and opened 2-0 in the Southeastern Conference for the first time since 1977 with a 28-7 rout of No. 14 Mississippi State on Saturday night in Lexington, Ken.
The victory came two weeks after Kentucky knocked off then No. 25 Florida in Gainesville.
Heading into the contest most expected each team’s running games to determine the outcome. Mississippi State (3-1, 0-1) ranked 10th nationally and first in the SEC, with 302 rushing yards per game. Kentucky ranked 11th at 301 yards. Saturday night, Kentucky rushed for 229 yards, Mississippi State had just 56.
Benny Snell topped UK with 165 rushing yards and four touchdowns, breaking Randall Cobb’s career touchdown record.
One play after freshman defensive back Tyrell Ajian intercepted a pass from Nick Fitzgerald, Snell delivered the knockout blow on a 36-yard run to give the Wildcats a 21-7 lead. He added another touchdown from 23 yards out with 3:45 remaining to account for the final tally.
Kentucky’s defense played one of its best games in the Mark Stoops era, holding Mississippi State to 201 yards overall.
It was a win that came in dominating fashion in front of 60,037 fans on a rainy night at Kroger Field. Kentucky finished the game with 300 yards and outscored the Bulldogs 28-0 after Fitzgerald scored Mississippi State’s only touchdown with 8:42 left in the first half.
Kentucky got on the board with a two-yard touchdown run by Snell with 50 seconds left in the half. The play was set up by a 23-yard pass from Terry Wilson to Dorian Baker. It was all Kentucky after that score.
The Wildcats took their first lead on a 11-play, 92-yard drive with 5:35 left in the third quarter that Snell capped off with a touchdown from one-yard out.
The defense forced its only turnover of the night on Ajian’s interception. Kentucky’s two touchdowns later in the quarter from Snell gave the Wildcats a convincing win.
Kentucky, likely headed into the Top 25, looks to continue its roll when South Carolina comes to Lexington next week. Mississippi State welcomes Florida and former head coach Dan Mullen.
—Field Level Media