STARKVILLE • Mississippi State jumped out to a four-touchdown lead over rival Southern Miss on Saturday and walked away with a 38-15 victory.
But the Bulldogs did not come out of the game unscathed.
After tossing two early touchdowns, quarterback Tommy Stevens went down with an injury to his right throwing arm just before halftime and did not return.
True freshman Garrett Shrader finished out the day behind center for MSU, completing 7 of 11 passes for 71 yards and rushing nine times for 16 yards.
Bulldog running back Kylin Hill had another monster game, picking up 123 yards and a touchdown on 14 rushing attempts.
State’s defense forced three turnovers – interceptions by C.J. Morgan and Martin Emerson – and a strip sack by Marquiss Spencer that Tyler Williams recovered.
The Bulldogs are home against Kansas State on Saturday with an 11 a.m. kickoff.
TURNING POINT: MSU’s offense got much more conservative in the second half after Stevens went down with an upper body injury with just over five minutes remaining in the second quarter. Stevens was sacked on back-to-back plays on the drive, threw his only incompletion and never returned to the game.
POINT MAN: Stevens threw two touchdowns in the four drives that he led. The graduate transfer from Penn State completed 9 of 10 passes for 105 yards, tossing a 28-yard touchdown to Osirus Mitchell on the opening drive of the game and an 11-yard scoring strike to Stephen Guidry on the first play of the second quarter.
TALKING POINT: “That’s what we do, we hunt the ball. We fly around. This was a good defensive win.” – MSU safety Brian Cole.