The Kentucky Wildcats (5-2, 2-2) rolled into Starkville eager to pick up their sixth win of the year and confirm their bowl eligibility for the second straight season.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs (5-2, 2-2) had other ideas, as Nick Fitzgerald and company ran roughshod on the Wildcats to pick up a 45-7 victory.
Fitzgerald and the Bulldogs were in control from the start, beginning their day with a 12-play 78-yard drive concluding in a three-yard rushing touchdown for the junior quarterback.
A bit later in the game, Fitzgerald became the seventh SEC quarterback to rush for 2000 career yards, a list he will undoubtedly continue to climb.
Upon further review, Joshua Dobbs also had 2,000 rushing yards, so Fitzgerald is the *7th* SEC QB to that threshold. pic.twitter.com/ZYyBMJ0TiA— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 21, 2017
While Kentucky managed just one touchdown on the afternoon, they made it unique and exciting, at least! Stephen Johnson was heading for the end zone, when he fumbled it. Instead of going out of bounds or out of the back of the end zone, it bounced right into the hands of Kentucky’s Blake Bone to bring the Wildcats within three.
Well, you don't see this every day...— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) October 21, 2017
Touchdown @UKFootball! https://t.co/odu6ysqjiZ pic.twitter.com/gAOO6UahwL
The goodwill was short-lived, as Fitzgerald struck again.
He.— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) October 21, 2017
Way.@HailStateFB's Nick Fitzgerald TO THE HOUSE! pic.twitter.com/C5BsyErxIe
The second half was, quite literally, all Mississippi State. The Bulldogs scored 28 straight points to pull to the 45-7 victory. The most impressive of which came on an 84-yard pick six from Gerri Green.
Kentucky can look at this as a burn the tape game, more than anything. Nothing went particularly well for them on either side of the ball, and winning on the road is hard. They host Tennessee next week, so they’ll likely become bowl eligible then.
This was also a giant leap in the right direction for Mississippi State’s bowl hopes, as they still have UMass coming up, among other teams.