Kylin Hill rushed for 123 yards to lead Mississippi State to a 38-15 win over visiting Southern Miss at Starkville, Miss., on Saturday despite an undisclosed injury to Bulldogs starting quarterback Tommy Stevens.
Stevens started with nine consecutive completions, including two touchdown passes. It is the longest streak to start a game at Mississippi State since Dak Prescott went 12-for-12 against Arkansas in 2015.
Stevens left in the second quarter after taking consecutive sacks and throwing his first incompletion of the game.
He did not return in the second half. Mississippi State (2-0) listed it as an undisclosed injury.
Stevens completed 9 of 10 passes for 105 yards. The touchdown passes were 28 yards to Osirus Mitchell in the opening possession and 11 yards to Stephen Guidry in the second quarter.
True freshman Garrett Shrader made his Mississippi State debut in place of Stevens. Shrader orchestrated a six-play, 52-yard touchdown drive that gave the Bulldogs a 21-0 lead just before halftime. He threw a 10-yard completion to Guidry in the possession, capped by Nick Gibson’s 13-yard rushing touchdown.
Shrader completed 7 of 11 passes for 71 yards.
Hill, who had 14 rushes, exited the game in the first half with an undisclosed injury but returned in the second half to score on a 3-yard run to put the Bulldogs up 28-0 with 6:37 left in the third quarter.
Jack Abraham completed 18 of 26 passes for 234 yards, including a 28-yard scoring pass to Jaylond Adams in the third quarter, for Southern Miss (1-1).
Abraham hooked up with Jordan Mitchell for a 61-yard score with 6:31 left in the fourth quarter. His two-point conversion pass cut the lead to 31-15.
After Mississippi State was forced to punt, Abraham was intercepted by cornerback Martin Emerson. Lee Witherspoon scored on a 22-yard run on the next play for the Bulldogs.
Mississippi State entered Saturday as one of three teams to hold opponents to 30 points or less in 15 consecutive games. Notre Dame and Washington are the other teams.
The Bulldogs played without five suspended players for a violation of team rules, including starting junior linebacker Willie Gay Jr.
—Field Level Media