November 17, 2018 / 9:30 PM / 4 months ago

No. 21 Mississippi St. downs Arkansas behind Fitzgerald

Nick Fitzgerald passed for four touchdowns and ran for another as No. 21 Mississippi State routed Arkansas 52-6 in an SEC game Saturday in Starkville, Miss.

Fitzgerald, a senior playing his final home game, ran for the Bulldogs’ first touchdown in the second quarter and threw three third-quarter touchdown passes to break the game open. He completed 9 of 14 for 127 yards as nearly half of his completions and more than half of his passing yards (69) came on scoring plays, and he ran 14 times for 85 yards.

Aeris Williams added 104 yards on 15 carries as State improved to 7-4 and 3-4 under first-year coach Joe Moorhead.

The Razorbacks fell to 2-9 and 0-7 under first-year coach Chad Morris. They need to win their season finale at Missouri next week to avoid becoming the first 10-loss team in school history.

Connor Limpert’s 32-yard field goal cut State’s 17-3 halftime lead to 17-6 early in the third quarter before Fitzgerald struck.

He threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Justin Johnson and barely a minute later after an Arkansas fumble, Fitzgerald threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Keith Mixon. His 15-yard touchdown pass to Osirus Mitchell later in the quarter made it 38-6.

Fitzgerald added a 19-yard touchdown to Austin Williams early in the fourth quarter to make it 45-6. He then turned things over to backup Keytaon Thompson, who threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Austin Williams on fourth-and-13 to complete the scoring.

The Razorbacks had just 69 rushing yards and 219 total yards and were minus-2 in turnovers after giving the ball away three times.

Jace Christmann kicked a 19-yard field goal the give the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead after the first quarter.

State’s running tandem of Nick Gibson and Fitzgerald gained all the yards on a touchdown drive to start the second quarter. Gibson rushed seven times for 36 yards and Fitzgerald ran three times for 17 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown that resulted in a 10-0 lead.

Limpert kicked a 36-yard field goal with 32 seconds left in the second quarter to get the Razorbacks within 17-3 at halftime.

—Field Level Media

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