Bulldogs take first loss; USM and Alcorn win conference games

Published 10:26 pm Saturday, September 22, 2018

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Coming into Saturday’s game, Mississippi State had the best rushing offense in the Southeastern Conference.

Benny Snell Jr. showed them how it’s really done.

Snell rushed for four touchdowns to break a Kentucky career record, including two in the fourth quarter, and the Wildcats held No. 14 Mississippi State to 56 rushing yards for a 28-7 upset Saturday night.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

After Tyrell Ajian’s 35-yard interception return to the Bulldogs 36, Snell broke left and down the left sideline for his third score with 8 minutes remaining to break Randall Cobb’s previous mark of 37 total touchdowns.

The junior wasn’t done and added a 23-yard TD run on the next possession for a 21-point cushion the Wildcats (4-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) preserved for their second win over a ranked school this month. Kentucky beat then-No. 25 Florida two weeks ago to break a 31-game losing streak to the Gators. Kentucky is 4-0 for the first time since 2008.

Snell also had TD runs of 1 and 2 yards to finish with 165 yards on 25 carries, his 15th career 100-yard game. His four rushing TDs also matched a school single- game record. Snell ran for four against New Mexico State in 2016, and several other players share the record.

Kentucky rushed for 229 yards overall and outgained the Bulldogs 300-201.
Mississippi State (3-1, 0-1) was held nearly 256 rushing yards below its SEC-leading average of 311.7 coming in. The Bulldogs only managed Nick Fitzgerald’s 1-yard TD run midway through the second quarter.

“I think we played hard in all three phases,” first-year Bulldogs coach Joe Moorhead said. “We just didn’t execute with the precision we needed to beat a team of Kentucky’s caliber.”

Southern Miss 40, Rice 22

Jack Abraham threw for 428 yards and four touchdowns, and Southern Miss piled up 566 yards of total offense as it routed Rice 40-22 in its Conference USA opener on Saturday night.

Former St. Aloysius star DeMichael Harris caught four passes for 99 yards for the Golden Eagles (2-1, 1-0 Conference USA). Quez Watkins had five receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown, while Tim Jones, Tez Parks and Jaylond Adams each caught a touchdown pass.

Southern Miss led 17-15 late in the first quarter when Rachuan Mitchell intercepted a pass and returned it to the 1-yard line. That set up a touchdown run by Steven Anderson and helped start a surge that helped USM blow it open.

The Golden Eagles scored 23 straight points starting with Anderson’s touchdown, capped by a 21-yard scoring pass from Abraham to Jones with 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter that made it 40-15.

Anderson finished with 52 rushing yards on only eight carries. Abraham completed 25 of 34 passes and was intercepted once.

Southern Miss’ defense held Rice (1-3, 0-1) to 262 yards of total offense. Ty Williams also had an interception.

It marked the eighth straight meeting that the winning team has scored at least 40 points.

Alcorn State 56, Mississippi Valley State 20

Three Alcorn State players ran for more than 100 yards as the Braves (2-1, 1-0 Southwestern Athletic Conference) beat Mississippi Valley State 56-20 Saturday night.

Alcorn State running back P.J. Simmons ran for 210 yards and a touchdown, quarterback Noah Johnson added 139 yards and three touchdowns, and Marquise Forman had 119 yards and two TDs.

Alcorn finished with 462 rushing yards as a team.

Johnson also completed 18 of 23 passes for 203 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions. Chris Blair led the receivers with seven catches for 92 yards.

Mississippi Valley State (0-2, 0-1) had 22 rushing yards and 200 yards of total offense. Its quarterbacks were sacked six times and threw two interceptions.