Recapping No. 20 MSU’s 27-14 win over Kentucky at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday.
LEXINGTON, Ky. | Big days from Chad Bumphis and LaDarius Perkins lifted MSU (5-0, 2-0 SEC) to victory in its first league road test of the season.
Bumphis had 104 yards and a touchdown on nine catches, and his TD was the 18th of his career, putting him into sole possession of first place on the MSU charts. Perkins gained 110 yards and a score on 25 carries, and he also had three catches for 53 yards.
MSU is 5-0 for the first time since 1999, and only the second time since World War II. That was also the last time it started 2-0 in the SEC.
The Bulldogs did an excellent job on third downs, converting 10 of 18. Tyler Russell came up big on several of those, including twice on the game’s opening drive. The second one was a 10-yard TD pass to fullback Adrian Marcus. On the day, Russell was 23 of 39 for 269 yards, two TDs and no interceptions. It was a mixed bag for the junior, who missed some easy throws but completed some really tough ones.
State finished with 427 total yards to Kentucky’s 228. The Wildcats (1-5, 0-3) had just 17 yards in the first quarter. They got a spark from freshman quarterback Patrick Towles, who directed an 80-yard scoring drive to pull UK within 14-7 in the second quarter, but he didn’t play in the second half because of a sprained ankle.
So starter Jalen Whitlow returned and made it a 27-14 game in the third with a 3-yard TD run. Kentucky then recovered an onside kick, but MSU stopped the rally with a sack by Josh Boyd on third down. The Wildcats never seriously threatened again.
Whitlow finished 10 of 21 for 73 yards and was sacked twice. MSU had three sacks total. Kentucky was held to 84 yards rushing.
“We took it to heart that they did that to us,” Boyd said of the onside kick, “and so we took it upon ourselves to play the best possession we played all game.”
MSU led 20-7 at halftime after a couple of Devon Bell field goals. It was 27-7 after Bumphis caught a 27-yard touchdown from Russell early in the third quarter.
“It’s a double post concept and it’s actually designed to go to the outside (receiver), I don’t think I’ve caught that ball once in practice,” Bumphis said. “The safety sat flat-footed and let me run by him.”
The Bulldogs will host Tennessee (3-2, 0-2) next week in a huge game. It’ll be MSU’s stiffest test to date.
“We’re ready for them,” cornerback Darius Slay said.
MSU – Adrian Marcus 10 pass from Tyler Russell (Devon Bell kick), 9:15 (13 plays, 85 yards, 5:45)
MSU – LaDarius Perkins 31 run (Bell kick), 1:32 (6 plays, 61 yards, 2:35)
UK – La’Rod King 32 pass from Patrick Towles (Craig McIntosh kick), 11:58 (10 plays, 80 yards, 4:29)
MSU – Bell 20 field goal, 1:55 (11 plays, 52 yards, 4:19)
MSU – Bell 37 field goal, :00 (5 plays, 50 yards, :50)
MSU – Chad Bumphis 27 pass from Russell (Bell kick), 12:43 (2 plays, 40 yards, :47)
UK – Jalen Whitlow 3 run (McIntosh kick), 6:22 (7 plays, 46 yards, 2:24)