2015 Mississippi State Football Rewind: Kentucky


Oct 24, 2015; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs quarterback Dak Prescott (15) shakes hands with Noah Fortenberry after the game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Davis Wade Stadium. Mississippi State won 42-16 Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the season is over, we take a look back at each game and how it played out.

The Setup

It was the annual renewal of our cross divisional rival. Kentucky came into this game hoping to avoid the same catastrophic collapse they had suffered in 2014. For all the talk of Mark Stoops making this program better, it had yet to show up in the win-loss record.

For Mississippi State, Kentucky is the only team Dan Mullen had not lost to since he had arrived in Starkville. The Bulldogs had been evenly matched with Kentucky, but since Dan Mullen’s arrival, the Bulldogs had controlled the series.

This would be the first game Mississippi State played without potential NFL Draft Pick Will Redmond. Many of us were wondering just how much of an impact it would have on the team, and this would be the first time we would have a chance to see first hand.

Kentucky always puts up a challenge even if they never win the game. Patrick Towles is a talented quarterback that might present problems. This game was one Mississippi State was supposed to win, but weird things happen.

Key Stats and Final Score

  • Mississippi State Yards
    • Passing: 382
    • Rushing: 204
  • Kentucky Yards
    • Passing: 260
    • Rushing: 163
  • Mississippi State Stand Out Performances
    • Dak Prescott: 25/43, 348 Passing Yards, 3 Touchdowns, 1 Interception, 13 rushes, 117 Yards, 3 Touchdowns
    • Brandon Holloway: 6 Rushes, 36 Yards, 5 Receptions, 98 Yards, 1 Touchdown
    • Taveze Calhoun: 2 Interceptions
  • Kentucky Stand Out Performances
    • Stanley Williams: 18 Carries, 95 Yards
    • Garrett Johnson: 5 Receptions, 74 Yards
  • Final Score: Mississippi State 42, Kentucky 16

What we thought at the time

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First quarter deficits, though they were becoming the norm, were getting old. Mississippi State gave up an early touchdown to Kentucky and the Bulldogs trailed at the end of the first quarter 10-7.

The second quarter was a different story. Mississippi State would take the lead early in the second quarter, but in a 60 second span on the game clock, the Bulldogs put this game away.

The Bulldogs scored with 1:34 to go up 21-10. Kentucky got the ball back and tried to make something happen, but Taveze Calhoun picked off the first of two passes on the day. two plays later, Mississippi State was in the end zone again after a 20 yard Dak Prescott run for a touchdown. The only disappointing part of this sequence is Dan Mullen called for a squib kick that was poorly executed and led to a long Kentucky field goal.

The Wildcats tried to mount a little bit of a comeback in the second half, but they couldn’t muster much offense. The Bulldogs went on to add 14 additional points and salted the game away.

Most thought this was the best game of Dak Prescott’s storied career at Mississippi State. He did throw his first interception of the season, but outside of that, he did everything right. He would be honored with Offensive Player of the Week by the SEC.

What we should have thought now the season is over

No one overreacted to this game, and therefore just about everything we thought about this game was pretty spot on. Kentucky wasn’t very good, so it was nice to pound an opponent that you are supposed to pound. It was a fun night and one Mississippi State was never in serious trouble in despite the first quarter deficit.