Mississippi State holds off Bowling Green, 21-20
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP)
After a failed fourth-and-1 by MSU, Bowling Green (5-2) had the ball and 4:21 on the clock at the end of the game, but couldn't get inside field goal range.
Mississippi State (3-3) had 422 yards of offense, 245 on the ground as the Bulldogs won their 11th straight nonconference home game.
The game was a back-and-forth affair. Mississippi State opened the game on a 9-play, 75-yard drive that ended in a LaDarius Perkins touchdown.
Bowling Green's BooBoo Gates intercepted Prescott on MSU's next offensive series, and the Falcons eventually settled for a 35-yard field goal by Tyler Tate.
Prescott responded on the next drive by rushing for a 75-yard touchdown.
In the second quarter, Bowling Green answered with a 96-yard drive capped off by a 7-yard Andre Givens touchdown run. Mississippi State countered with a 75-yard drive and a 10-yard Prescott touchdown run with 1:04 left in the second quarter.
But quarterback Matt Johnson worked Bowling Green into field goal range, and Tate nailed a 45-yarder to end the first half.
Tate missed a 45-yard field goal on the opening drive of the third quarter, but Bowling Green responded with a 7-play touchdown drive on its next possession, to pull within one point; the eventual final margin.
With 4:21 left in the game, Mississippi State went for a fourth-and-1 on the Bowling Green six yard line. Prescott's rush was inches short, and the Bulldogs turned it over on downs. Johnson completed four passes and Green rushed once to get the Falcons to midfield. But then the drive stalled, and Johnson failed to complete a fourth-and-11 to Ryan Burbrink, and Mississippi State ran out the clock.
Mullen again used both Prescott, a sophomore, and veteran quarterback Tyler Russell throughout the game. Russell finished 12-of-14 for 102 yards.
Johnson was 19-of-33 for 194 yards for Bowling Green. Travis Green rushed for 99 yards and Ryan Burbrink caught four passes for a game-high 66 yards.
Bowling Green's Gates was ejected in the second quarter for targeting.