Russell leads Mississippi St. past Arkansas 45-14
Saturday, November 17, 2012
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Tyler Russell threw for 274 yards and four touchdowns to lead Mississippi State to a 45-14 victory over Arkansas on Saturday.
The win snaps a three-game losing streak for the Bulldogs (8-3, 4-3 Southeastern Conference). It also ends a three-game losing streak against the Razorbacks.
Arkansas (4-7, 2-5) turned the ball over five times, failing to capitalize such on its 359 yards of total offense.
Russell completed 19 of 32 passes, including a 13-yard touchdown pass to LaDarius Perkins on the game's opening drive. Perkins finished with 131 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns.
It wasn't all pretty for the Bulldogs early, though. Tyler Wilson and the Arkansas offense moved the ball with ease on their first two possessions, and after back-to-back touchdown passes to Cobi Hamilton and Dennis Johnson, the Razorbacks led 14-7.
Wilson finished the game 23 of 29 for 225 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Arkansas held the momentum until a botched punt reception with 10 minutes left in the first half led to a Mississippi State field goal. After a defensive stop, the Bulldogs drove 78 yards in five plays and Russell hit Chad Bumphis for his SEC-leading ninth touchdown, giving the Bulldogs a 17-14 lead at the half.
Bumphis finished with 6 catches, two for touchdowns, setting a single-season school record.
In the third quarter, Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen gambled on a fourth-and-one inside the Arkansas 5-yard line, and backup quarterback Dak Prescott ran it in for a touchdown to put the Bulldogs up 24-14.
Arkansas's offense continued to struggle in the second half. The Hogs failed on a fourth down conversion in Bulldog territory late in the third quarter and then, after forcing a three-and-out, fumbled their first play from scrimmage. Two plays later, Russell hit Perkins again for a 24-yard score.
After another Arkansas turnover, Russell hit Bumphis for another score to start the fourth quarter. Three minutes later, after a Darius Slay interception, Nick Griffin broke a 60-yard touchdown run to give the Bulldogs its final margin of victory.
The Bulldogs finished with 505 yards of total offense, 302 through the air. Arceto Clark and Perkins caught 3 passes each.
For Arkansas, Johnson led the team with 88 yards rushing. Hamilton finished with 7 catches, also for 88 yards. Javontee Herndon caught 6 passes for 84 yards.
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