Will Rogers propels Mississippi State past Southern Miss

Will Rogers threw for two touchdowns and Kyle Ferrie kicked four field goals to lift Mississippi State to a 41-20 win over visiting Southern Miss on Saturday with interim head coach Greg Knox at the helm.

Rogers completed 12 of 27 passes for 140 yards after returning from an injury to his non-throwing shoulder. Ferrie connected on field goal attempts of 48, 29, 41 and 30 yards.

Jeffery Pittman led the Bulldogs (5-6) with 98 yards and a score on the ground. Jo’Quavious Marks added 34 yards rushing and a receiving score.

Zavion Thomas had three receptions for 62 yards to pace the Mississippi State aerial attack. Lideatrick Griffin added four receptions for 32 yards and a score.

Golden Eagles quarterback Ethan Crawford threw a touchdown pass and finished with 52 yards. Billy Wiles, who has been Southern Miss’ primary quarterback for most of the season, passed for 89 yards and a score.

Frank Gore Jr. had 66 yards rushing and added a receiving score for the Golden Eagles (3-8). Jakarius Caston added a 44-yard touchdown reception, which cut Mississippi State’s lead to 23-13 early in the fourth quarter, and a 98-yard kick return for a score.

Southern Miss jumped out to a 7-0 lead when Crawford connected with Gore for an 8-yard touchdown pass on its opening possession.

Mississippi State trimmed the Golden Eagles lead to 7-3 when Ferrie nailed a 48-yard field goal.

The Bulldogs regained a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter when Griffin capped an eight-play, 53-yard drive with an 8-yard scoring reception.

Mississippi State entered halftime with a 16-7 lead following two field goals from Ferrie. The Bulldogs upped their lead to 23-7 early in the third quarter when Rogers hit Marks out of the backfield for a nifty 15-yard touchdown.

After a 44-yard touchdown pass from Wiles to Caston early in the fourth quarter, Ferrie hit a 30-yard field goal to push the Bulldogs’ lead to 26-13. But a 98-yard kick return for a score by Caston trimmed Mississippi State’s lead to 26-20.

A 59-yard run by Pittman and a 69-yard pick-six by linebacker Jett Johnson capped the scoring in the fourth quarter.