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Kentucky dominated in Starkville, falling to Mississippi St.

Will Rogers, Marquez Bembry
Posted at 10:27 PM, Oct 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-30 23:21:13-04

STARKVILLE, Ms. (LEX 18) — The Kentucky Wildcats dropped their second straight game after a brutal performance offensively and defensively in Starkville.

Mississippi St. forced four turnovers (three interceptions from Will Levis) en route to a 31-17 win.

The Bulldogs outgained the Cats 438-216. Mississippi St. had the worst rushing offense in the SEC compared to Kentucky's best rushing offense in the SEC. The Dogs had one of their best rushing performances of the season with 94 yards on the ground to Kentucky's 66 yards.

Will Rogers, the passing leader in the SEC, was a surgeon. He finished 36-39 (92% completion percentage) for 344 yards and a touchdown.

Mississippi St. dominated in time of possession 41:10 to Kentucky's 18:50.

Levis finished the night 17-28 for 150 yds, a TD, and 3 INT.

Wan'Dale Robinson led the Wildcats with 9 receptions for 79 yards. No other receiver finished with more than 2 receptions.

DeMarcus Harris had the offenses lone touchdown of the night.

Kentucky's scoring started with Josh Ali, who missed the last two games due to injury, after he returned a punt 74 yards for a touchdown. It was Kentucky's first punt return touchdown since Lynn Bowden Jr. returned a punt for a score in the 2019 Citrus Bowl against Penn State.

END 1Q | Kentucky 7, Mississippi St. 0

Matt Ruffolo would extend Kentucky's lead to 10-0 with a 41 yard field goal early in the quarter.

The Bulldogs would counter on their ensuing drive, marching 75 yards in 8 plays with Jo'quavious Marks rushing in from 7 yards out to put Mississippi St. on the board.

Mississippi St. would take the lead on its next drive with a 9 yard rushing touchdown from Dillon Johnson, capping off a 9 play, 75 yard drive.

Kentucky had a chance to score just before half, but Will Levis threw his second interception of the night at the goal line.

HALFTIME | Mississippi St. 14, Kentucky 10

Mississippi St. opened the second half with another lengthy drive against Kentucky's defense, but the Bulldogs had several penalties that pushed them back, one of them taking a touchdown off the board. The Wildcats were fortunate to only allow a field goal, trailing 17-10

On the following possession, Kentucky turned the ball over for a third time when a hand off from Levis to Chris Rodriguez wasn't clean. Mississippi St. recovered at the Kentucky 26 yard line and scored two plays later on a 1 yard rushing touchdown from Johnson to make it 24-10

On Kentucky's very next offensive play, Levis threw his third interception of the game which led to another touchdown for the Bulldogs, this time a 25 yard touchdown pass from Will Rogers to Rara Thomas making it 31-10.

END 3Q | Mississippi St. 31, Kentucky 10

The Cats got a much needed scoring drive to begin the fourth quarter. Levis found DeMarcus Harris on back-to-back plays that capped the drive with a 17 yard touchdown reception and making it a two possession game at 31-17.

FINAL | Mississippi St. 31, Kentucky 17

Kentucky returns to Kroger Field next Saturday, November 6 to host Tennessee. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.