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Mullen, Florida beat Mississippi State 13-6

Feleipe Franks threw for 219 yards and Florida's defense dominated in the Gators' 13-6 victory over No. 23 Mississippi State on Saturday night.

Posted: Sep 29, 2018 11:26 PM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Feleipe Franks threw for 219 yards and Florida's defense dominated in the Gators' 13-6 victory over No. 23 Mississippi State on Saturday night.

Coach Dan Mullen won in his return to Starkville, guiding Florida to success in his first appearance at Davis Wade Stadium since leaving Mississippi State in November after nine mostly successful seasons.

Florida wasn't great offensively, but it didn't matter. The Gators (4-1, 2-1) broke through in the third quarter when Franks threw a lateral to Kadarius Toney, who then threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Moral Stephens for a 10-6 lead.

From that point forward, Florida slowly grinded toward the win. A 10-play, 36-yard drive in the fourth quarter led to a 21-yard field goal by Evan McPherson -- giving the Gators a 13-6 lead -- and the Mississippi State offense was never able to respond.

"We found a way to win a different style game," Mullen said. "In this league you're doing to win all different styles of games. Last week we won with the big play. This week we won by grinding it out."

Mississippi State (3-2, 0-2) had its chances to win and led 6-3 at halftime. The Bulldogs looked like they were going to break the game open in the third quarter when Nick Fitzgerald fired a perfect pass downfield to Osirus Mitchell, but the ball bounced awkwardly off his hands and fell to the turf.

The Bulldogs had one more chance late in the fourth quarter, but Fitzgerald was sacked on fourth down. Mississippi State has scored just one touchdown over the past two games.

"We're going to have to find a way to start scoring some points," Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead said. "Very frustrating."

Mullen's Gators took the field to plenty of cowbells and lots of boos before Saturday's game, though the reception wasn't much worse than most opposing teams get in Starkville.

Once the game started, highlights were limited. Both teams stuck to a conservative, ground-based offense that produced no first-half touchdowns and the Bulldogs took a 6-3 lead into halftime.

EMOTIONAL MULLEN

Mullen got a little choked up when talking about some of the conversations he had after the game with his former Mississippi State players. Mullen had a 69-46 record over nine seasons in Starkville.

"It's hard to explain the coach-player relationship," Mullen said. "It's such an unbelievably tight relationship."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 343505

Reported Deaths: 7543
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds23932444
DeSoto23229283
Harrison20527329
Rankin15411291
Jackson15232252
Madison10959227
Lee10719179
Jones9047169
Forrest8723159
Lauderdale7884244
Lowndes7054151
Lamar702989
Lafayette6548124
Washington5595139
Pearl River5196152
Bolivar4954134
Oktibbeha494398
Panola4771112
Warren4728128
Marshall4701106
Pontotoc447773
Union433279
Monroe4330137
Neshoba4281181
Hancock428088
Lincoln4176116
Pike3667113
Leflore3627125
Tate353388
Alcorn350974
Sunflower347694
Scott341176
Adams340988
Yazoo339376
Copiah324968
Simpson322891
Itawamba314680
Coahoma314085
Tippah306568
Prentiss298863
Covington293484
Leake285475
Marion284181
Wayne277543
George272251
Grenada269488
Newton262364
Tishomingo239770
Winston236784
Jasper230648
Stone229637
Attala226373
Chickasaw219060
Holmes200174
Clay197654
Clarke186880
Tallahatchie183742
Calhoun181332
Smith179235
Yalobusha171540
Walthall145748
Lawrence142826
Greene140134
Amite137543
Noxubee135235
Perry133538
Montgomery133044
Carroll126431
Webster121232
Jefferson Davis116734
Tunica114227
Benton106725
Claiborne105331
Kemper102429
Humphreys100133
Franklin87923
Quitman84719
Choctaw82619
Wilkinson78032
Jefferson71328
Sharkey51618
Issaquena1736
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 585607

Reported Deaths: 11536
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson851431591
Mobile48584864
Madison37411533
Shelby27192257
Tuscaloosa27145465
Montgomery26119627
Baldwin25207329
Lee17184181
Calhoun15382334
Morgan15147291
Etowah14928370
Marshall13079235
Houston12021293
Elmore10890219
St. Clair10737252
Limestone10699158
Cullman10503205
Lauderdale10240254
DeKalb9498192
Talladega8935188
Walker7775288
Autauga7537114
Jackson7384117
Blount7352139
Colbert6691142
Coffee6342132
Dale5605117
Russell478943
Chilton4763117
Covington4738125
Franklin456681
Tallapoosa4511156
Escambia439283
Chambers3936125
Dallas3742163
Clarke370563
Marion3455107
Pike332079
Lawrence3257100
Winston298373
Bibb289765
Geneva282883
Marengo262267
Barbour250661
Pickens245262
Butler240172
Hale235178
Fayette226765
Henry212845
Monroe201541
Randolph200344
Cherokee198848
Washington184339
Macon169752
Crenshaw167758
Clay165659
Cleburne161145
Lamar150938
Lowndes145355
Wilcox132331
Bullock126542
Conecuh120632
Coosa118129
Perry110328
Sumter110333
Greene99137
Choctaw64425
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Columbus
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Sunday heat and humidity look likely to return once again, but Sunday will also mark the beginning of a transition to cooler and slightly less humid weather ahead.
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