UPDATE: Relf leads Mississippi State over Georgia 24-12

STARKVILLE — Chris Relf rushed for 97 yards and threw for 135 yards and a touchdown as Mississippi State beat Georgia 24-12 on Saturday night, breaking a nine-game losing streak in the series dating back to 1974.

Relf completed 8 of 13 passes, producing several big plays with his arm and his feet to help second-year coach Dan Mullen deliver one of the biggest wins of his tenure in front of an announced crowd of 56,721, which is the third-largest in Davis-Wade Stadium history.

“It’s a big win for our kids,” Mullen said. “I couldn’t be prouder of them. The atmosphere was great.”

Mississippi State (2-2, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) held Georgia (1-3, 0-3) to just two field goals until the final minutes. Georgia’s Aaron Murray completed 18 of 31 passes for 274 yards and a touchdown.

The troubles continue for Georgia, which has lost three games in a row for the first time since 1990 and starts 0-3 in the SEC for the first time since 1993.

The first two losses in the streak came against nationally-ranked teams — South Carolina and Arkansas. But Saturday’s loss comes against a Mississippi State program Georgia has traditionally dominated, winning 16 of 21 all-time coming into the game.

Georgia outgained Mississippi State 387 yards to 314, but lost two first-half fumbles, including one by Washaun Ealey that was less than a yard from a touchdown.

Mistakes were the only constant for Georgia, which was penalized nine times for 63 yards, with several coming at crucial moments.

Mississippi State grabbed a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter after a four-play touchdown drive ended with Vick Ballard’s 13-yard run.

Blair Walsh kicked two second-quarter field goals from 25 and 35 yards, respectively, to pull Georgia within 7-6 by halftime.

Mississippi State put the game away with two touchdowns late in the fourth quarter, stretching a 10-6 lead to 24-6. The first came on a 33-yard pass from Relf to Arceto Clark with 4:22 remaining while the second was a 1-yard Ballard run with 3:15 left.

Ballard finished with a season-high 77 yards rushing.

Georgia’s only touchdown came with 1:27 remaining when Murray hit Taverres King with a 40-yard touchdown. Ealey led the team with 37 yards rushing.

Click here for more on the game at Brad Locke’s blog.

Read all about the game in Sunday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.

David Brandt/The Assocated Press