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No. 20 Mississippi State rolls past Kentucky 27-14

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen was slightly concerned about his team’s focus against Kentucky coming off a bye week.

Not only did the No. 20 Bulldogs ease his mind on that issue, they did it effectively.

Tyler Russell passed for two touchdowns and Mississippi State held Kentucky to just 228 yards on offense, leading to a 27-14 victory Saturday.

“We lost our focus a couple of times with a couple of people, but overall I’m real pleased,” Mullen said. “I think our defense played very well over the course of the game.

“I would’ve liked a couple more scores.”

LaDarius Perkins carried 25 times for 110 yards, including a 31-yard score, and Devon Bell kicked field goals of 20 and 37 yards as Mississippi State moved to 5-0 for the first time since 1999. The Bulldogs are 2-0 in the Southeastern Conference.

Russell was 23 of 39 for 269 yards, hitting Adrian Marcus and Chad Bumphis for touchdowns of 10 and 27 yards, respectively.

Bumphis, who finished with 9 receptions for 104 yards, also broke the school record with his 17th career TD.

“It’s a big deal to get it (the record) out of the way, finally,” Bumphis said.

Mississippi State finished with 158 yards rushing and 427 overall, splitting its season-high 78 plays evenly running and passing.

Freshmen quarterbacks Patrick Towles and Jalen Whitlow both led scoring drives for Kentucky (1-5, 0-3), which lost its fourth straight. Whitlow played the second half after Towles sprained his ankle just before halftime.

Whitlow finished 10-of-21 passing for 73 yards, adding 26 rushing yards on eight carries. Towles was 5 of 6 for 71 yards.

“I thought both of them competed hard,” Kentucky coach Joker Phillips said.