Rogers throws 4 TDs as Mississippi St. tops Vanderbilt 45-6
Published 7:14 pm Saturday, October 23, 2021
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Will Rogers threw a career-best four touchdowns, two to wide receiver Makai Polk, and Mississippi State was never challenged in a 45-6 Southeastern Conference win over Vanderbilt Saturday afternoon.
The Bulldogs (4-3, 2-2) were coming off a 49-9 loss to No. 4 Alabama. Mississippi State has won their last five meetings with Vanderbilt after a loss in 2004. It was the 17 straight SEC loss for the Commodores (2-6, 0-4).
Rogers threw for first-half touchdowns of 31 and nine yards to Polk, and to wide receiver Rufus Harvey for six yards. He added one more in the third quarter with a nine-yard completion to wide receiver Malik Heath.
The Bulldogs set the offensive pace for the afternoon scoring a touchdown on their first drive. Running back Jo’quavious Marks added a five-yard run in the fourth quarter. Chance Lovertich, replacing Rogers, threw a 28-yard touchdown pass with 51 seconds left in the game.
Vanderbilt settled for a pair of field goals with Joseph Bulovas hitting from 27 yards out in the second quarter and from 41 yards in the third quarter.
Mississippi State: Coach Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense was back on track after the Alabama loss. The Bulldogs entered the Vanderbilt game averaging 24.7 points per game. Rogers, the SEC leader in passing yards with 360.3 yards, threw for 386. His four touchdowns were a career high. It was the fifth time he has thrown for three or more touchdown passes in a game this season.
The Bulldogs completed 47-of-65 attempts for a 72 percent success rate and 463 yards in the air.
Vanderbilt did manage to intercept Rogers two times. It was the Commodores fourth straight game with multiple interceptions, the first time they have accomplished the goal since 2011.
Vanderbilt: The Commodores offense struggled in the air and on the ground as Mike Wright started in place of injured Ken Seals for the second week in a row. In the second quarter Wright connected with wide receiver Devin Boddie for a 61-yard reception, the longest gain from scrimmage for the Commodores this season. Wright completed six of eight passes in the first half for 76 yards. In eight rushing attempts the Commodores had no yards at intermission.
Vanderbilt finished with 155 total yards, 146 passing and nine rushing.
Mississippi State will host Kentucky in an SEC game Oct. 30.
Vanderbilt plays the second game in their three-game SEC home stretch against Missouri Oct. 30.