LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Benny Snell Jr. rushed for four touchdowns to break a Kentucky career record, including two in the fourth quarter, and the Wildcats held No. 14 Mississippi State to 56 yards rushing for a 28-7 upset Saturday night.
After Tyrell Ajian's 35-yard interception return to the Bulldogs 36, Snell broke left and down the left sideline for his third score with 8 minutes remaining to break Randall Cobb's previous mark of 37 total touchdowns.
The junior wasn't done and added a 23-yard TD run on the next possession for 21-point cushion the Wildcats (4-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) preserved for their second win over a ranked school this month. Kentucky beat then-No. 25 Florida two weeks ago to break a 31-game losing streak to the Gators.
Snell also had TD runs of 1 and 2 yards to finish with 165 on 25 carries, his 15th career 100-yard game. His four rushing TDs also matched a school record he shares with Don Phelps. Kentucky rushed for 229 overall and outgained the Bulldogs 300-201 under a steady drizzle.
MSU (3-1, 0-1) was held nearly 256 rushing yards below its SEC-leading average of 311.7 coming in. The Bulldogs only managed Nick Fitzgerald's 1-yard TD run midway through the second quarter.
"I think we played hard in all three phases," first-year Bulldogs coach Joe Moorhead said. "We just didn't execute with the precision we needed to beat a team of Kentucky's caliber."
A moment of silence was held before the game to honor Marco Lee Shemwell, 4, who was struck and killed outside Kroger Field by a car driven by a Kentucky freshman following last week's game against Murray State. Jacob Heil, 18, was charged with DUI on Monday. The school suspended him and his fraternity.
BRING 'EM OUT
Kentucky's announced attendance of 60,037 on a rainy night was a season high after it failed to break 50,000 for its previous two home games.
Mississippi State will likely fall a few spots in the Top 25 after moving up this week.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs drove 80 yards for their lone TD and highlight on a night one of the SEC's most physical teams was pushed all over the field. They had no answer for Snell once he got going and managed just 201 yards after entering the game averaging 587.7.
Kentucky: The Wildcats controlled the line of scrimmage most of the game but didn't break through until after allowing MSU to score first. They also recorded three sacks that not only stifled the Bulldogs' hopes of coming back, but provided their first 4-0 start since 2008.
"We talked all week that the more physical team was going to win," coach Mark Stoops said. "We talked all week about winning the one-on-one matchups. And then, situational football: two-minute drives, third down, red zone. That's what we did."
Mississippi State faces its second consecutive SEC East school when it hosts Florida on Saturday. It's also the first time the Bulldogs face former coach Dan Mullen, who guided them from 2009-17 before taking over the Gators this season.
Kentucky hosts SEC East foe South Carolina, seeking its fifth consecutive series victory over the Gamecocks.