UK @ MISS STATE | Prescott, Bulldogs bully Wildcats, win 42-16

10/24/2015 10:07 PM

STARKVILLE, MS — Saturday was a night to forget for the Kentucky Wildcats, losing 42-16 at Mississippi State while having a front row seat to a Heisman-esque performance from Bulldogs quarterback Dak Prescott.

Prescott torched the Wildcats’ defense both on the ground and threw the air, finishing with 475 yards of total offense and six touchdowns to send Kentucky (4-3, 2-3 SEC) back to Lexington with its worst loss of the season.

After passing for over 300 yards in his past two games, UK quarterback Patrick Towles struggled against the Bulldogs, finishing 23/42 for 218 yards, two interceptions, and one rushing touchdown.

Redshirt freshman backup quarterback Drew Barker made his collegiate debut in the fourth quarter, rushing for a first down on his first play from scrimmage and finishing 7/9 for 42 yards and an interception.

It was Kentucky’s first road loss and first back-to-back losses of the season, adding to last week’s 30-27 home defeat to Auburn.

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Wildcats early on. Kentucky jumped out to a 7-0 lead on Towles’ 1-yard touchdown plunge with 8:19 left in the first quarter. But Mississippi State responded on the next possession, driving 81 yards in 15 plays to score on a 1-yard Prescott run to tie the game at 7-7.

And it was all Bulldogs from there.

Trailing 14-10 late in the second quarter, Kentucky had a chance to cut the deficit to one, but head coach Mark Stoops called a timeout to negate a 49-yard field goal by Austin MacGinnis that would have made the score 14-13. Instead, MacGinnis missed on the second attempt after the called timeout, and Mississippi State drove 69 yards in just five plays to score an 8-yard touchdown from Prescott to Brandon Holloway and go up 21-10 with 1:34 left before halftime.

After another touchdown run from Prescott just one minute later, this time untouched from 20 yards, Kentucky drove into field goal range in the final seconds, and MacGinnis connected from 48 yards to cut the deficit to 28-13 at intermission.

MacGinnis, who worked during the week to overcome a groin injury, finished 3/4 for the game and is now 11/13 for the season.

Kentucky had a chance to draw within one possession in the third quarter, but after driving to 1st-and-Goal at the Mississippi State 3-yard line, a personal foul on lineman Ramsey Meyers backed the Wildcats up to 2nd-and-Goal from the 19. UK settled for another MacGinnis field goal, this time from 32 yards, to make the score 28-16, and never got closer.

Prescott and the Bulldogs fired right back with another touchdown the following possession, marching 75 yards in seven plays to score on a 13-yard toss from Prescott to Darrion Hutcherson to expand the lead to 35-16.

Additional Notes:

  • Sophomore Stanley “Boom” Williams led the Kentucky rushing attack, finishing with 95 yards on 18 carriers. He also eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing for his UK career.

  • Freshman tight end C.J. Conrad finished with six catches for 56 yards, both career highs.
  • Sophomore wide receiver T.V. Williams made his first catch of the season, a screen pass for negative five yards.

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