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(Saturday, September 15th)
Final Score: Mississippi State 30, Troy 24
Troy, AL (Sports Network) - Tyler Russell threw for 244 yards and three touchdowns, leading Mississippi State to a 30-24 victory over Troy at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Russell, who completed 11-of-26 passes, connected with Chad Bumphis early and often, as Bumphis finished with six receptions, for a career-high 180 receiving yards and three touchdowns for the Bulldogs (3-0). LaDarius Perkins was instrumental in the win as well, rushing for a career high 179 rushing yards and a touchdown on 23 attempts.
Troy (1-2) was led by running back Shawn Southward, who ran for 137 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. Justin Albert contributed 52 yards and a touchdown on 10 attempts. Quarterback Corey Robinson threw for 343 yards, on 32-of-45 pass attempts, but failed to find the end zone, while throwing two interceptions in the loss.
Mississippi State got the scoring started with a 31-yard, five-play drive ending in a 37-yard field by Devon Bell to put the Bulldogs ahead 3-0.
The Trojans fired right back with a 10-play, 81-yard drive ending in a one- yard touchdown run by Southward.
After a quick three-and-out, Mississippi State caught a break when Justin Albert fumbled a punt which was recovered by Darius Slay at the Troy 40-yard line. Perkins took advantage of the opportunity and exploded for a 30-yard touchdown run to put the Bulldogs back on top 10-7.
Following another Trojan fumble, the Bulldogs took over at their own 28-yard line. Russell kept the momentum going with a huge 72-yard touchdown pass to Bumphis. After a missed extra point by Devon Bell, Mississippi State led 16-7.
Again in the second quarter Russell found Bumphis for a 58-yard touchdown pass on a single-play drive to put the Bulldogs up 23-7.
Troy tried to narrow the gap at the end of the first half but could not do so as Will Scott missed a 26-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter.
After grinding out a 13-play, 80-yard drive, Southward ran in a three-yard touchdown that cut the Trojans' deficit to nine midway through the third quarter.
Troy continued to battle back as Albert scored on a 31-yard touchdown run to cap off a six-play, 91-yard drive and bring the Trojans within two of the Bulldogs.
Mississippi State found some juice left in the fourth quarter as Russell connected with Bumphis for a 25-yard touchdown pass to make it a nine-point game.
For the last points of the game Troy settled for a 40-yard field goal as it was defeated 30-24.
This game was the first time in school history that the Trojans hosted an SEC opponent at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Heading into week Mississippi State had the best turnover margin in the nation (plus-3.5 per game) and continued that excellence by forcing two fumbles and two interceptions as it proved to be a key factor in the outcome of the game.
The Bulldogs have now won 13 consecutive non-conference games.
09/15 23:42:09 ET
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