STARKVILLE, Miss — A hot start from Mississippi State was nearly doused by a nearly three-hour rain delay but the Bulldogs took care of business in a 49-23 victory over Memphis on Saturday night.
Led by quarterback Will Rogers, MSU outgained the Tigers 542-294 with the bulk of the Tigers’ yards coming in the second half. Rogers was 38-of-49 for 450 yards, five touchdowns and an interception. It was the 14th time in his three-year career that he’s notched over 300 yards and his sixth 400-yard game.
MSU’s defense dominated for two and a half quarters. MSU gave up two first downs in the first seven possessions and had allowed just 40 yards midway through the third quarter. It wasn’t until running back Jevyon Ducker broke off a 50-yard run later in the third quarter that the Tigers broke 100 yards of total offense.
Memphis scored on each of its final three drives to cut into Mississippi State's 35-3 lead. Sophomore quarterback Seth Henigan threw for 165 yards on 19-of-30 passing with one touchdown.
Rogers completed passes to 12 receivers. Four receivers caught five or more passes and his five TDs all went to different receivers.
Things got sloppy down the stretch for Mississippi State but the Bulldogs were impressive in the first three quarters. It was a chance for MSU to get a measure of revenge after dropping a game in Memphis a season ago, but it wasn’t a full four quarters for the Bulldogs.
Mississippi State travels to Arizona for a matchup with the Wildcats next Saturday
Memphis has an AAC game at Navy next Saturday