NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Visiting Mississippi State had five scoring drives of 10 plays or more and controlled the narrative from the outset Saturday in a 45-6 win over Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt Stadium.
Quarterback Will Rogers threw for 386 yards and completed four touchdown passes – two to Makai Polk – and the Bulldogs (4-3, 2-2 SEC) had more than 39 minutes of possession.
Vanderbilt (2-6, 0-4 SEC) mustered just 155 total yards of offense and was 1 of 11 on third down. It was the third time this season the Commodores failed to score a touchdown in a league game.
Vandy is back at home at 2 p.m. Saturday when it hosts Missouri (3-4, 0-3 SEC).
Mississippi State opened Saturday’s game with a long, methodical drive that ended with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Rogers to Polk giving the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead less than four minutes into the game. Brandon Ruiz kicked a 36-yard field goal for Mississippi State later in the quarter making it 10-0.
Joseph Bulovas got Vanderbilt on the board with a 27-yard field goal on the first snap of the second quarter.
The Bulldogs added to their lead when Rogers found Polk again, this time on a 32-yard deep ball, that made it 17-3 in favor of the visitors with 9:01 left in the half.
Rogers’ third touchdown pass of the half went to Rufus Harvey from six yards out. The Bulldogs took that 24-3 lead into the break.
Mississippi State put up 282 yards of offense and held possession for 22:35 of 30 first-half minutes. Vanderbilt ran just 16 offensive plays and totaled only 76 yards – zero of which were via the run.
Vandy scored the first points of the second half, a 41-yard Bulovas field goal, set up by a Dashaun Jerkins interception.
Rogers and the Bulldogs responded with a 10-play, 63-yard drive that was capped off by a 9-yard pass to Malik Heath putting Mississippi State 31-6. Jo’quavious Marks ran in a 5-yard score early in the fourth making it 38-6.
Chance Lovertich tossed a 28-yard touchdown pass to Rara Thomas with 51 seconds left to close the scoring.
• Vanderbilt has recorded multiple interceptions in four straight games for the first time since 2011.
• Vandy has been outscored 100-13 in the first quarter this season.
• The Commodores have allowed points on the opponents’ opening drive in seven straight games.
• Vanderbilt now trails the all-time series against Mississippi State 15-7-2.
• The Commodores have dropped five in a row to the Bulldogs having last won in 2004.
• Vanderbilt has lost 17 SEC games in a row.
• Attendance on Saturday was announced as 22,036.