October 29, 2011

Bulldogs get first conference win

LEXINGTON, Ky, - Mississippi State overcame three first half turnovers and utilized a two quarterback system that produced four touchdowns helping the Bulldogs claim their first Southeastern Conference win of the season 28-16 over Kentucky Saturday night.

Starter Tyler Russell and Chris Relf platooned as MSU's signal caller on the night combining for 283 total yards, four touchdowns and one interception.

"I'm proud of the way our team played tonight," said MSU head coach Dan Mullen. We made plays when we needed to make plays in the course of the game. Not our best game when you turn the ball over three times, a lot of things we can correct, but I'll tell you what, our kids played and made the plays they needed to."

The Bulldogs (4-4, 1-4) totaled 398 yards of offense on the night with 264 yards through the air and another 134 on the ground.

Russell completed 9-of-12 passing for 172 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions while Relf hit on six of his nine throws for 92 yards, one touchdown and one pick. Relf also added a pair of rushing scores carrying six times for 13 yards.

"I really think (the two quarterback system) really opens it up," Russell said. "The defense doesn't know what to do. There would be times the defense would think Chris would be in the game which opened up the pass for me."

Senior Vick Ballard gained 90 yards on 18 carries to lead the State ground attack.

"This win means a lot," Ballard said. "If we want to make a bowl game, this was a must-win game."

Mississippi State got their tight ends involved in the passing game with sophomore Malcolm Johnson grabbing three passes for 42 yards and a touchdown and senior Marcus Green hauling in two passes for 66 yards.

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