Getting lead, turnovers key in Bulldogs victory
Mississippi State defensive back Johnthan Banks (13) reacts with teammate Damein Anderson (26) after intercepting a UAB pass on Saturday. (Photo by Dave Martin, AP)
Having the lead after three quarters and winning the turnover battle were key indications that the Mississippi State Bulldogs were going to find a way to get a victory on Saturday.
In front of 28,351 fans at Legion Field, MIssissippi State defeated UAB 21-3.
Even though the Bulldogs trailed 3-0 at halftime, they had a strong second half to earn the win.
After three quarters, MSU led 14-3 and and were 15-0 under head coach Dan Mullen when leading after three quarters. On Saturday, the Bulldogs extended that to 16-0 with the non-conference win over the Blazers.
MSU won the turnover battle 2-1 against UAB and also improved to 16-0 under Mullen when winning that battle.
The Bulldog defense holding UAB to only three points, is the first time they have held an opponent to that since they did it against Vanderbilt in 2009.Â
In MSU's three wins, it has allowed three first quarter points and 20 total first-half points. In the Bulldogs' three losses, they have given up 31 first quarter points and 58 first-half points.
Banks moves up list
An interception for MSU's Johnthan Banks, a former East Webster player, moved him into eighth place in school history.
The win over the Blazers is the Bulldogs fourth in a row and is their ninth consecutive non-conference win.
Ballard hits century mark
With MSU running back Vick Ballard rushing for 108 yards, it was the eighth 100-plus yard rushing game of his career.
It marks the 28th game under Mullen where a player has rushed for over 100 yards.
Russell sharp in relief
The Bulldog offense struggled early and Tyler Russell replaced Chris Relf at quarterback.
In his one half of play, Russell threw for 166 yards and had a stretch where he completed eight consecutive passes.
Shed good in defeat
Starkville native and UAB running back Pat Shed carried the ball 16 times against his hometown team for 73 yards.
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During one of his carries, Shed gained the 1,000th rushing yard of his career.
At the end of the game, Shed had 1,048 yards in his two seasons and is the ninth 1,000-yard rusher in UAB history.