It wasn’t pretty at the beginning of the game and it wasn’t pretty at the end of the game. In a very disappointing 45-7 loss, Kentucky simply did not appear to be in this game from the opening kick off. UK was pushed around on offense and defense and after a week off, looked ill prepared for the Nick Fitzgerald led Bulldog offense.
On the opening scoring drive, Miss. St. opened the game with an impressive 12 play 78 yard drive, culminating with a Fitzgerald 3 yard touchdown run. Miss. St ran the ball 6 times and passed 5 times on the opening drive. UK did not have an answer for the Bulldog offense. The first quarter ended with Miss. St. up 7-0.
UK would get even in the 2nd Quarter and it looked like it may actually be a game when the Wildcats went 78 yards on 7 plays, but even their score was tough as Stephen Johnson fumbled at the 3 yard line on his way to the end zone and was recovered by UK’s Blake Bone. The score midway through the 2nd quarter was 7-7. That was the last time the Wildcats would come close to being in the game.
Miss. St. would work their way in to field goal range and would take a 10-7 lead. From there, things would get completely out of hand. Miss. St. would score again on a 40 yard touchdown run by Nick Fitzgerald to take a 17-7 lead at the half.
Mississippi St would drive the ball 75 yards on 13 plays ending in a 10 yard touchdown pass from Fitzgerald to Thomas Jordan for a 24-7 lead at the end of 3 quarters. The Bulldogs would score 3 times in the final frame including an 84 yard interception return for a touchdown.
The final score of 45-7 doesn’t show the one sidedness of this contest. Stephen Johnson finished with a dismal 13-28 passing for 117 yards and 2 interceptions. The Wildcats finished with 115 yards rushing. UK’s big back, Benny Snell, was held to 18 yards rushing. On the flip side, Miss. States’ Nick Fitzgerald hit on 18 of 26 for 155 yards and 1 touchdown pass. Fitzgerald also ran the ball for 115 yards on 12 carries and 2 scores. Miss. St. (5-2) will now play Texas A&M while UK (5-2) will go home to face Tennessee.