UK football dominated on the road against Mississippi State


Kentucky wide receiver Garrett Johnson gets tackled by Mississippi State during the game against Mississippi State at Commonwealth on Saturday, October 22, 2016 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky defeated Mississippi State 40-38. Photo by Lydia Emeric | Staff 

Saturday afternoon, UK football struggled on the road against the Mississippi State Bulldogs, losing their second game of the season 7-45.

Bulldogs quarterback Nick Fitzgerald ran all over the Cats, rushing for 115 yards and two touchdowns, including a 40-yard rush in the second quarter. He also threw for another touchdown and 155 yards.

Mississippi State controlled every phase of play, scoring the only touchdown in the first quarter on a 3-yard run by Fitzgerald. As a whole, the Bulldogs out-rushed the Cats 282 yards to UK’s 115.

The Cats generated their only explosive offense in the second quarter, thanks to a play on a run by UK quarterback Stephen Johnson. Johnson rushed the ball all the way to the Mississippi State’s three-yard line, where he was forced to fumble the ball, which was picked up by wide receiver Blake Bone in the end zone. This was the only touchdown by the Cats during the game.

After that one UK touchdown, the game entirely belonged to the Bulldogs. Fitzgerald passed for his lone touchdown through the air in the third quarter after a very long drive. The Bulldogs were on offense for ten more minutes than the struggling Cats, notching over 32 minutes of possession time.

The Cats also lost the turnover battle for the first time all season, turning the ball over twice, while Mississippi State didn’t cough up the ball all game.

The Cats offense had difficulty getting anything going the entire game, as they didn’t have the ability to move the ball at all. Johnson was the leading rusher for the Cats with 54 yards, and true freshman Lynn Bowden Jr. led UK receivers with 38 yards.

The dagger against the Cats that put the game out of reach was a long 84-yard pick six by Gerri Green to put the Bulldogs ahead 38-7 in the fourth quarter. After that, UK backup quarterback Drew Barker and third string running back AJ Rose entered the game for experience to run out the clock.

The Cats fall to 5-2, while the Bulldogs elevate their record to 5-2. The Cats will host Tennessee next Saturday, Oct. 28.