Hill leads Mississippi State to win over Kentucky

MSU wins its SEC opener.

Posted: Sep 21, 2019 9:38 PM
Updated: 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: 154411

Reported Deaths: 3836
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10409104
Hinds10279202
Harrison7313112
Jackson6566128
Rankin5887106
Lee529496
Madison5014107
Forrest389786
Jones369088
Lauderdale3594147
Lafayette338253
Washington3246108
Lamar297850
Oktibbeha252362
Lowndes247064
Bolivar244384
Panola232653
Neshoba2249121
Marshall222851
Leflore208591
Monroe206778
Pontotoc204231
Lincoln197366
Sunflower192655
Warren180258
Tate177751
Union171926
Copiah167940
Pike165359
Yazoo160140
Scott159430
Itawamba157635
Alcorn155628
Pearl River155368
Coahoma152743
Simpson152653
Prentiss151331
Adams144752
Grenada143345
Leake139744
Holmes133461
Covington128639
Tippah128430
George128325
Winston125526
Hancock124341
Wayne121323
Marion119446
Attala119334
Tishomingo112443
Chickasaw109432
Newton108229
Tallahatchie98127
Clay94727
Clarke93653
Jasper85223
Stone80615
Calhoun78713
Walthall77629
Montgomery76926
Carroll74115
Lawrence73814
Smith73216
Yalobusha73128
Noxubee72717
Perry68326
Tunica62619
Greene61522
Jefferson Davis59017
Claiborne58916
Amite56615
Humphreys54719
Benton50018
Quitman5007
Webster46714
Kemper45018
Wilkinson40522
Jefferson37112
Choctaw3617
Franklin3555
Sharkey32417
Issaquena1204
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 252900

Reported Deaths: 3638
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson33526501
Mobile20103365
Madison13723151
Tuscaloosa13366154
Montgomery12552236
Shelby1079677
Baldwin9051137
Lee787266
Morgan696451
Calhoun6598121
Etowah656167
Marshall647357
Houston541038
DeKalb498137
Cullman462443
St. Clair441956
Limestone440445
Lauderdale426754
Elmore421164
Walker3735111
Talladega370157
Jackson340423
Colbert332042
Blount306140
Autauga281842
Franklin257434
Coffee250015
Dale239054
Dallas231532
Chilton228939
Russell22663
Covington225034
Escambia202331
Tallapoosa187291
Chambers182750
Pike161514
Clarke161019
Marion144736
Winston137523
Lawrence133436
Pickens126518
Geneva12508
Marengo123424
Bibb120418
Barbour118911
Butler118642
Randolph105522
Cherokee105124
Hale98131
Fayette94616
Washington93219
Clay92824
Henry8896
Monroe83011
Lowndes80929
Cleburne78814
Macon75522
Crenshaw72230
Bullock70119
Lamar7018
Conecuh70014
Perry6916
Wilcox64818
Sumter58622
Greene43518
Choctaw43114
Coosa3664
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