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Nov 19, 2022 2:31 pm

Will Rogers lifts Mississippi State in rout of East Tennessee State

Will Rogers tossed five touchdown passes as Mississippi State wrapped up its home schedule by walloping East Tennessee State 56-7 on Saturday afternoon in Starkville, Miss.

Rogers, who completed 30 of 37 passes for 301 yards, has 32 touchdowns on the season. The outing marked Rogers’ 29th occurrence of passing for at least 200 yards, tying Dak Prescott (2012-15) for the school record.

In relief, Chance Lovertich completed all six pass attempts for 36 yards with his team’s final score, a short pass to J.J. Jernighan.

The Bulldogs (7-4) concluded their 2022 home slate with a 6-1 mark — the only loss being last Saturday’s 45-19 debacle against top-ranked Georgia. It marked the first time they were victorious six times at home in a season since 2018.

East Tennessee State (3-8), an FCS program, broke up the shutout bid in the fourth quarter when Ja’Varius Harrison’s punt block was returned 39 yards by Erek Campbell.

Tyler Riddell completed 5 of 11 passes for 47 yards with two interceptions as the Buccaneers’ offense produced just 154 yards.

The Buccaneers looked to repeat 2021’s season-opening upset at Vanderbilt when they took down the Commodores 23-3 in Nashville. But they had no such luck Saturday while climbing the Southeastern Conference’s power ranks.

Rogers threw a pair of scoring strikes inside the game’s first 10 minutes, finding Lideatrick Griffin from 12 yards and Rara Thomas from 8 yards for a 14-0 lead. The second drive was set up by safety Jalen Green’s second interception this season.

In the second quarter, Rogers pitched a second short score to Griffin on a jet sweep at 12:51. A deflected interception and broken-field sprint by cornerback Emmanuel Forbes resulted in the junior’s 76-yard return.

Jo’quavious Marks’ 22-yard run made it 35-0. Earlier, the running back extended his streak to 34 games with a reception, one short of the school record set by Fred Ross from 2013-16.

After safety Jackie Matthews grabbed the Bulldogs’ third pick on the second half’s first series, Austin Williams caught Rogers’ fourth passing score, a 5-yard catch-and-run. Justin Robinson snared another touchdown toss by Rogers for a 49-0 lead.

–Field Level Media

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