Hill leads Mississippi State to win over Kentucky

MSU wins its SEC opener.

Posted: Sep 21, 2019 9:39 PM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Kylin Hill rushed for 120 yards and three touchdowns to lead Mississippi State to a 28-13 victory over Kentucky on Saturday.

Mississippi State (3-1, 1-0 SEC) handed the ball to Hill, the Southeastern Conference's leading rusher 26 times in the game, taking some of the offensive pressure off freshman quarterback Garrett Schrader who started in place of injured senior Tommy Stevens, a Penn State transfer.

"He was a grown man out there," Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said. "You can see a great player there, with a great desire to make some tough runs. That's a very good football player."

Shrader, who played the entire second half last week, was another offensive highlight, throwing for 180 yards and rushing for 125 yards in his first full game managing the offense.

"I don't know that there's too many freshman quarterbacks around the country playing like that," Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead said.

Kentucky (2-2, 0-2 SEC) had 386 yards of total offense but found the end zone only once on a Kavosiey Smoke 2-yard run in the third quarter. Mississippi State consistently frustrated Stoops' team late in drives, and the Wildcats could convert on only two of their four field-goal attempts.

"You've just got to find a way to win," Stoops said. "And getting behind and not punching it in when we're moving the ball, and not getting scores in the red zone and missing kicks and things of that nature is not a good recipe right now."

The defense set the tone early. On the game's opening drive linebacker Willie Gay Jr. intercepted Sawyer Smith and returned the ball 53 yards for a touchdown. Gay and multiple other defensive starters have been suspended for much of the season due to a violation of team rules believed to be related to an academic dishonesty scandal that carries NCAA-mandated suspensions.

"Getting in a hole really hurt us," Stoops said. "We were doing a nice job of moving the ball and keeping them off balance, then obviously the pick-six in an environment like this just gives them a chance to explode. Then you feel like you're playing catch-up the rest of the first half. The rest of the entire game, really."

Gay was later ejected for receiving his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

"I love Willie," Moorhead said. "I think Willie is one of top linebackers in country. He's big, he's fast, he's strong and he's passionate. Sometime that passion is a little misguided, maybe, but he's a guy who loves Mississippi State, loves this team and this defense. I wish we had a hundred Willies."

Hill punched in two touchdowns in the second quarter and Mississippi State led 21-3 at the half. The Bulldogs added Hill's 1-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.

Smith was 15-of-41 passing for 232 yards to lead Kentucky. Asim Rose rushed for 105 yards on nine carries and Lynn Bowden had a game-high seven catches for 127 yards.

THE TAKEAWAY

Mississippi State: With a full complement of defensive talent and a rapidly-improving freshman quarterback, the Bulldogs looked like a completely different team than the one who lost at home last week to Kansas State.

Kentucky: The Wildcats have weapons enough to move the ball downfield, but penalties and poor pass protection stymied a number of promising drives.

UP NEXT:

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs visit No. 8 Auburn on the Plains, where it has lost four of the teams' last five meetings.

Kentucky: The Wildcats travel to play South Carolina still searching for their first conference win.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 67649

Reported Deaths: 1912
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5613118
DeSoto365831
Harrison252036
Madison242266
Rankin228334
Jackson227642
Jones189958
Forrest180656
Washington166341
Lee146241
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Lowndes107737
Panola105913
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Scott100320
Lafayette97316
Copiah95428
Pike93636
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Holmes89248
Grenada84721
Yazoo83112
Pontotoc8278
Lincoln81741
Monroe79655
Simpson79630
Leake78825
Wayne76721
Coahoma76013
Tate73429
Marshall6959
Marion67720
Union63616
Adams62325
Winston62016
Covington61213
George5815
Pearl River55039
Newton54211
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Attala52225
Walthall50220
Chickasaw46219
Noxubee45711
Alcorn4285
Calhoun4189
Tishomingo4175
Prentiss41210
Claiborne40713
Smith40513
Clay39614
Hancock39014
Jasper3869
Tippah36613
Itawamba35910
Tunica3377
Clarke32726
Montgomery3265
Lawrence3238
Yalobusha31510
Humphreys29311
Quitman2691
Carroll26111
Greene25012
Perry2367
Webster23412
Kemper23314
Amite2326
Jefferson Davis2316
Wilkinson21213
Stone1995
Sharkey1975
Jefferson1967
Benton1441
Choctaw1344
Franklin1272
Issaquena261
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 99390

Reported Deaths: 1733
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13109243
Mobile9947207
Montgomery6835148
Madison537834
Tuscaloosa421373
Unassigned359961
Baldwin354425
Shelby328335
Marshall316736
Lee267845
Morgan239318
Etowah212131
DeKalb181913
Calhoun178414
Elmore172338
Walker152664
Houston139812
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Lauderdale116719
Escambia108217
Talladega102614
Jackson9894
Tallapoosa85579
Chambers84138
Dale83424
Blount8004
Chilton7926
Butler76436
Coffee7616
Covington73520
Pike7097
Clarke6629
Barbour5755
Marion57424
Lowndes57224
Marengo55215
Hale47626
Bullock46411
Winston45311
Perry4424
Bibb4385
Wilcox42910
Monroe4214
Randolph40110
Pickens4009
Conecuh39310
Washington39112
Sumter36018
Lawrence3491
Macon33514
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