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.

Cases: 500709

Reported Deaths: 9977
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34312538
DeSoto32080403
Hinds31924627
Jackson24482379
Rankin21983390
Lee15530235
Madison14574280
Jones13838242
Forrest13447251
Lauderdale11985316
Lowndes11030188
Lamar10508135
Pearl River9503237
Lafayette8547139
Hancock7728126
Washington7422157
Oktibbeha7142131
Monroe6769176
Warren6682176
Pontotoc6659102
Neshoba6635206
Panola6520131
Marshall6462134
Bolivar6313148
Union602494
Pike5817152
Alcorn5667101
Lincoln5433135
George496779
Scott472698
Tippah469081
Prentiss466881
Leflore4657144
Itawamba4633105
Adams4586119
Tate4584110
Copiah448592
Simpson4445116
Yazoo443987
Wayne439772
Covington428794
Sunflower4237105
Marion4225108
Coahoma4159104
Leake408288
Newton381679
Grenada3706108
Stone359764
Tishomingo359692
Attala331489
Jasper329965
Winston314291
Clay307976
Chickasaw299667
Clarke292494
Calhoun279346
Holmes267887
Smith263850
Yalobusha233747
Tallahatchie227151
Greene219048
Walthall218763
Lawrence212440
Perry205356
Amite205155
Webster202746
Noxubee186640
Montgomery179656
Jefferson Davis171542
Carroll168838
Tunica159439
Benton148738
Kemper141941
Choctaw133426
Claiborne132437
Humphreys129238
Franklin120028
Quitman106428
Wilkinson105139
Jefferson94534
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 817054

Reported Deaths: 15320
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1145501922
Mobile724601333
Madison52172694
Shelby37533348
Baldwin37192547
Tuscaloosa35044606
Montgomery34067734
Lee23195245
Calhoun22205476
Morgan20754376
Etowah19811497
Marshall18317302
Houston17345411
St. Clair15983339
Cullman15383292
Limestone15298198
Elmore15161284
Lauderdale14225294
Talladega13802276
DeKalb12622260
Walker11162369
Blount10162175
Autauga9954146
Jackson9844182
Coffee9195191
Dale8880185
Colbert8826201
Tallapoosa7071198
Escambia6764130
Covington6699183
Chilton6627161
Russell627959
Franklin5955105
Chambers5567142
Marion4982126
Dallas4936200
Clarke474583
Pike4722105
Geneva4566126
Winston4502103
Lawrence4296117
Bibb424086
Barbour356676
Marengo337789
Monroe331463
Randolph328763
Butler325696
Pickens315682
Henry311965
Hale311088
Cherokee301760
Fayette291879
Washington251351
Cleburne247360
Crenshaw244375
Clay241768
Macon232363
Lamar222047
Conecuh185853
Coosa179739
Lowndes174564
Wilcox167939
Bullock151644
Perry138340
Sumter132738
Greene126644
Choctaw88127
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