Mississippi State picked up its first conference win of the season and won its fifth straight game over Kentucky, the longest in series history.
After the Wildcats made it a two point game later in the third quarter, MSU responded with a 74-yard drive and scored a touchdown to answer.
The 82 penalty yards were the third most under Dan Mullen and most since his initial season in 2009.
Dak Prescott was sacked for an 18-yard loss and Devon Bell dropped a punt snap in the end zone on the next play resulting in a safety and a nine point swing in the game.
Senior safety Nickoe Whitley was ejected after committing two personal foul penalties on UK’s final drive of the first half.
Keys to victory
(Reviewing the scouting report from Thursday’s GameDay preview)
1. Get after the QB
The Bulldogs had only one sack in the game but it was a big one as Denico Autry notched his first of the season during the fourth quarter. State had only three quarterback hurries and three tackles for loss in the game.
2. Strong second half
Once again the Bulldogs struggled in all three phases in the second half. The Wildcats outscored Mississippi State 12-7 in the final two quarters and have now been outscored 52-17 in the fourth quarter alone this season.
3. Build Bell’s confidence
Bell missed a 47-yard field goal and is now just 5 of 11 on the year. The sophomore is just 2-of-8 on field goals of 30-yards or more.
WR Jameon Lewis. For the second time this season Lewis rushed, threw and caught a touchdown in the same game. The junior has accounted for nine touchdowns this season (three rushing, four receiving and two passing). Lewis is one of three FBS players with four or more receiving touchdowns and three rushing scores joining USC’s Tre Madden and Arizona State’s Marion Grice.
The Bulldogs are still struggling with injuries and playing a complete game. The positive thing is that MSU is 4-3 despite their deficiencies in the second half and still have a chance at school history by advancing to a bowl game in four consecutive seasons.