kylin hill arkansas 19

Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill (8) shakes Arkansas defender Andrew Parker as he runs for a gain during the second half. 

Thumbs Up

The Bulldogs had their best offensive day ever against an SEC opponent with 460 rushing yards and 640 total yards.

Tommy Stevens was sharp in his return as starting quarterback, completing 12 of 18 passes for 172 yards, two touchdowns and adding 74 rushing yards.

Nick Gibson rushed for a career-high 129 yards.

Safety Marcus Murphy (West Point) took his first career interception back for a pick-6.

All injured players mentioned as questionable earlier in the week at least dressed out.

Thumbs Down

MSU’s special teams continue to be atrocious.

Keys to Victory

(Reviewing the scouting report from our GameDay edition)

Better beginning.

The Bulldogs scored on their first offensive drive for the first time since Sept. 7 against Southern Miss. In fact, State produced points on its first three possessions and led 17-0 three plays into the second quarter.

Eliminate turnovers

Arkansas and Mississippi State entered Saturday’s game as the two worst teams in the SEC at turning the ball over. Malik Dear did muff a punt which later resulted in a Razorback field goal but the Bulldogs won the turnover battle thanks to Murphy’s pick-6 and a Willie Gay Jr. fumble recovery.

Prevent penalties

O-lineman Tommy Champion was for flagged a false start on the first play of the game but MSU was only penalized two more times the rest of the day. Cameron Dantzler drew a pass interference call in the third quarter and Stevens tossed the ball past the line of scrimmage in the final quarter.

MVP

RB Kylin Hill had a career day with 234 yards and three touchdowns on 21 attempts. Hill averaged 11.1 yards per carry and was the fifth-most rushing yards ever by a Bulldog.

Bottom Line

State snapped a four-game losing skid and also kept its bowl hopes alive.

Logan Lowery

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