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Kentucky Wildcats fall to Mississippi State: 3 Things to know, box score, and postgame chatter

The Cats were dominated all game and couldn’t seem to do anything right.

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Mississippi State Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Much like the rest of Kentucky’s games this year, Saturday’s game was ugly. But the big difference is that it was really only ugly for Kentucky and they lost because of it. Kentucky couldn’t run, couldn’t throw, couldn’t stop Nick Fitzgerald and Mississippi State, couldn’t handle the clock correctly — you get the point. Nothing really went right and Kentucky suffered its second loss of the season.

With how badly they were out-gained in yardage, it’s a miracle the Cats even scored. So much for coming out of the bye week strong.

The passing game was off

There was all kinds of dysfunction in the passing game for Kentucky. Either Stephen Johnson was just inaccurate, or there was a lot of miscommunication between him and his receivers. Either way, almost every pass was off. The Cats didn’t get a big play through the air until they ran a trick play in which Lynn Bowden Jr. threw deep to Blake Bone, and they only got yards because pass interference was called on MSU.

At the end of the first half, Johnson was just 10-20 passing for 82 yards. And it didn’t get any better in the second half. Johnson finished with 117 passing yards and two interceptions.

Drew Barker ended up finishing the game after Johnson’s second interception, likely because the game was just completely out of reach at that point.

Mississippi State ran rampant

The State rushing game is pretty good, thanks in part to the fact that Nick Fitzgerald runs just as well as he throws. He was a wrecking ball, especially on MSU’s first drive, which ended with him plowing through several UK defenders to score a touchdown.

Kentucky’s defense let Fitzgerald get loose too many times giving him 115 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns, and he had some assistance from Aeris Williams (71 yards) and backup quarterback Keytaon Thompson (65 yards, two touchdowns) as well. Fitzgerald didn’t just get it done on the ground; he had 155 yards and a touchdown in the air.

Benny was shut down

One way or another, Benny Snell has always managed to get his yards this season. That wasn’t the case today. That wasn’t the case today, as he was third on Kentucky’s rushing list with just 18 yards on seven carries.

The rest of the team’s rushing was no better. Stephen Johnson led the team in rushing with 54 yards.

Here is the final box score:


Now, let’s begin the postgame venting.