STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Nick Fitzgerald had a hand in four touchdowns to lead Mississippi State to 35-10 victory over BYU on Saturday.
Mississippi State (4-2) returned to form offensively after a bye week and two straight blowout losses on the road to ranked opponents. Executing Dan Mullen's balanced plan of attack, the Bulldogs had 306 rushing yards and Fitzgerald threw for 241 to cross the 500-yard mark in total offense for the third time this season.
BYU (1-6) intercepted two Fitzgerald passes in the end zone, both by Dayan Ghanwoloku, but could only convert one into points. The Cougars struggled offensively, finishing with 176 total yards and only eight first downs.
Aeris Williams rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown for the Bulldogs, who had a season-high 35 first downs and averaged 6.5 yards. Fitzgerald threw for two touchdowns, and rushed for 103 yards and two scores of 14 and 15 yards.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs played well enough against a struggling non-conference opponent to move past the sting of a long September. However, tougher tests loom.
BYU: The Cougars continue to struggle with finding a rhythm on offense, scoring 13 points or less for the fifth time this season. The Cougars are off to their worst start since 1968 and are in serious danger of missing bowl eligibility for the first time since 2004.
Mississippi State returns to SEC play next Saturday, hosting Kentucky.
BYU embarks on its second cross-country road trip in as many weeks when it plays at East Carolina next Saturday.