Kentucky getting a great chance to move up into college football’s Top 25. In order to make that happen, the Wildcats would have to knock off #14 Mississippi State.
The first quarter was all about defense and mistakes. If there was good news for UK it was the fact that Benny Snell, Jr. was quickly able to rush for more yards than last season against the Bulldogs. He only had 18 and passed that in his first three carries.
Kentucky missed out on two chances to score in the first quarter. They moved deep into Mississippi State territory when Wildcats offensive lineman, Logan Stenberg was pushed down. Nothing was called until he kept talking to the referee and picked up an unsportsmanlike penalty that backed UK up and kept them from scoring.
Then, UK moved it again to set up Miles Butler for a 36 yard field goal. He was just wide right and there was no score after the first quarter.
Mississippi State would strike first as Nick Fitzgerald finished a 15 play, 80 yard drive with a 1 yard touchdown run. Bulldogs would take a 7-0 lead.
UK would get the ball back but a three and out would give the ball back to Mississippi State with 3:24 in the half at its own 10 yard line. The Wildcats defense would force its own three and out and UK would get it back with 2:15 to go in the half.
UK would make it count as Terry Wilson had a 12 yard run. Then, he completed a pass to Dorian Baker, who made an incredible catch along the sideline down to the two yard line. A play later, Snell would take it in for the score. The game was tied at 7.
It would go to halftime tied. UK winning the ground battle 100 yards to MSU’s 35. Benny Snell, Jr. leading the way with 60. Average yards per play were almost equal at 4 each and both teams had 7 first downs.
Mississippi State started the second half with the ball but UK forced a punt and it was a good one. UK would star the drive at its own eight. UK then put together it’s longest scoring drive of the season. Snell would use a 20 yard run to get the Cats into Bulldogs territory. Terry Wilson would connect with C.J. Conrad on a 23 yard pass play to get UK to the 9 yard line. Wilson would run it down to the 1 and Snell would get it in from there. That TD would tie Snell with Randall Cobb for career touchdowns with 18. More importantly, UK would take a 14-7 lead.
Near the end of the 3rd quarter, Terry Wilson would throw an interception and Mississippi State was in business. After moving deep into UK territory, Josh Allen had a sack for 4 yards, Calvin Taylor had a sack for 10 yards and then penalties backed State into a 4th and 39 from the UK 46. They would punt.
Kentucky would do some of the same on offense. Penalties and allowing sacks to get backed up deep inside their own 10. UK would have to punt it away with 9:43 to go in the game.
UK quickly got it back a few plays in as Tyrell Aijan picked off Nick Fitzgerald and returned it into Mississippi State territory. Benny Snell, Jr. took care of it from there on a 36 yard touchdown run to put UK in the lead 21-7. That TD gave Snell the all-time career TD lead passing Randall Cobb. He now has 19.
Snell would add in one more touchdown to give him four on the game. He finished with 165 yards on 25 carries.