Mississippi State has little trouble with South Alabama

John Galatas, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State Bulldogs used 356 yards of total offense to win their 14th straight game against a non-conference opponent with a 30-10 victory over the South Alabama Jaguars.
The Bulldogs (4-0) have scored 141 points through the first four games this season, their highest point total in that same span since 1944 (159).
Most of the Bulldog production came in the second half, as the Jaguars held MSU to just over 100 yards in the first half.
Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen said it was a good win for his program, but he was disappointed with the lack of offense in the first half.
"We have a lot of improving to do on both sides of the ball, but we'll get a lot of that fixed in the bye week this week," Mullen said. "Tyler (Russell) was making bad reads, we weren't throwing the ball very well and the offensive line was just sloppy. Everything, to me, was what you don't want to do."
MSU quarterback Tyler Russell threw for 171 yards and had one rushing touchdown, his first of the season.
Bulldogs running back LaDarius Perkins led all rushers with 69 yards on the ground and he also had a rushing touchdown.
Russell's one-yard touchdown run in the third quarter gave the Dogs a 27-3 advantage and put the game out of reach.
South Alabama fell to 1-3 on the year in its first game against an SEC opponent and ranked foe in the program's history.
Quarterback C.J. Bennett threw for 154 of the Jaguars' 347 total yards, along with a touchdown and interception.
Mullen said he was pleased with his defense's performance in the first half.
"I think the defense played very well in the first half," Mullen said. "We played a bunch of players, started rotating guys in. We kind of went through the motions in the second half a little bit, and again, we got a win, which was big. Our (first team) defense only gave up a field goal on the day, but we still have to be better."
On the Jaguars' opening drive of the fourth quarter, cornerback Johnthan Banks picked off Bennett deep in MSU territory to kill the momentum. It was Banks' third interception of the year and 15th of his career, one shy of the MSU school record.
Later in the fourth, Bennett found tight end Greg Hollinger to give the Jags their lone touchdown and complete the scoring.
Jaguars head coach Joey Jones said he was encouraged by his team's performance.
"I am really proud of this football team," Jones said. "There are a lot of things we can work on for sure. I saw a lot of heart on that football field tonight. I told the team in the locker room that I can handle that."
The Jaguars' defense kept the MSU offense in check in the first quarter, only allowing 27 offensive yards.
After a scoreless first, MSU got on the board when LaDarius Perkins capped a 70-yard, three-play drive with a 44-yard touchdown run. The run put Perkins over the 350-yard mark for the season and gave him his fifth touchdown this year.
After the Jaguars missed a 47-yard field goal, the Bulldogs capitalized with an 80-yard drive finished by backup quarterback Dak Prescott's two-yard run, his second touchdown of the season.
On the Dogs' next possession, freshman Devon Bell knocked home a 42-yard field goal, and he connected on another 42-yarder later in the half to extend the lead to 20-0 at the break.
Notes: South Alabama linebacker Anthony Taylor was carted off the field in the first quarter with a lower leg injury ... LaDarius Perkins' 44-yard touchdown run in the second quarter made him the SEC's second-leading rusher, and he has also scored a TD in every game this season ... Bell's 42-yard field goals in the second quarter were the longest of his career ... the Jaguars' Tyrell Pearson picked off Tyler Russell for his second interception of the year. The INT was the first thrown by Russell this season.

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