STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Randall Cobb passed for one touchdown
and rushed for another, and Kentucky blocked an extra point early
in the fourth quarter to beat Mississippi State 14-13 on Saturday.
Mississippi State kicker Adam Carlson also missed a 27-yard
field goal attempt with 7:16 remaining as Kentucky (6-3, 2-3
Southeastern Conference) rallied from a 7-0 deficit to reach bowl
In his first start, Cobb scored on a 5-yard touchdown run on the
Wildcats' opening drive of the second half, then hit Maurice
Grinter with a 3-yard touchdown pass to take a 14-7 lead later in
Mississippi State (3-6, 1-4) recovered Alfonso Smith's fumble
late in the third quarter to set up Tyson Lee's 10-yard touchdown
pass to Arnil Stallworth, and it looked as if the Bulldogs might
tie the game. But Kentucky blocked the extra point, then ended one
scoring threat on fourth-and-7 and picked off Lee with a minute
left to end a final rally.
Kentucky will make its second straight bowl appearance after
beating Florida State in the Music City Bowl last season. The
Bulldogs will have to win three straight if they want to make it
two in a row as well.
After last year's breakthrough 8-5 performance under coach
Sylvester Croom, the Bulldogs have broken down this season with an
anemic offense that refuses to go. Kentucky held run-first
Mississippi State to 43 yards and sacked Lee four times.
Cobb, the team's go-to receiver who replaced Mike Hartline as
starter after Kentucky's embarrassing 63-5 loss to Florida last
week, completed seven of 13 passes for 56 yards and an
interception, but did just enough to make the defensive effort
Hartline and Cobb alternated possessions under center. Hartline
finished 9-for-17 for 90 yards and Kentucky generated 274 total
yards, just enough to win.
Lee completed 26 of 42 passes for 261 yards and put the Bulldogs
up 7-0 at halftime on a 29-yard scoring pass to Brandon McRae
midway through the first quarter.
Kentucky 0 0 14 0-14
Mississippi St. 7 0 0 6-13
MSSt-McRae 29 pass from Lee (Carlson kick), 7:10.
Ky-R.Cobb 5 run (Seiber kick), 11:08.
Ky-Grinter 3 pass from R.Cobb (Seiber kick), 2:42.
MSSt-Stallworth 10 pass from Lee (kick blocked), 13:57.
First downs 17 18
Rushes-yards 36-128 27-43
Passing 146 261
Comp-Att-Int 16-30-1 26-42-1
Return Yards 26 14
Punts-Avg. 7-42.9 6-46.0
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards 7-64 5-66
Time of Possession 28:38 31:22
RUSHING-Kentucky, Dixon 12-66, R.Cobb 12-31, A.Smith 5-18,
Hartline 2-12, Allen 2-3, Nance 1-2, Team 2-(minus 4). Mississippi St.,
Dixon 15-48, Clark 1-19, Stallworth 2-7, Ducre 1-5, Team 1-(minus 2),
Lee 7-(minus 34).
PASSING-Kentucky, Hartline 9-17-0-90, R.Cobb 7-13-1-56.
Mississippi St., Lee 26-42-1-261.
RECEIVING-Kentucky, R.Cobb 3-33, Lanxter 3-22, A.Smith 2-34,
McCaskill 2-18, Drake 1-13, Adeyemi 1-8, Allen 1-7, Dixon 1-6,
Grinter 1-3, Conner 1-2. Mississippi St., Stallworth 8-71, McRae 6-73,
J.Smith 4-25, A.Bell 3-35, Henderson 2-45, Clark 2-11, Dixon 1-1.