Cats earn first SEC win, beat Miss St. 13-7

Rafael Little

LEXINGTON, Ky--Rafael Little rushed for 114 yards and one touchdown, and Kentucky converted three long scoring drives in route to a 13-7 win over Mississippi State.

The Cats held a 10-0 halftime lead, courtesy of a 35-yard Taylor Begley field goal in the first quarter and an 8-yard Rafael Little touchdown run in the 2nd quarter. Each drive was a long scoring drive, with UK grinding out 55 yards on 10 plays before capitalizing with the field goal, and the 11-play scoring drive, which covered 65 yards before ending with Little's touchdown run.

The lead stretched to 13-0 when Begley converted his second field goal attempt of the game, a 33-yard field goal that concluded a 12-play, 82-yard drive. Mississippi State was not able to generate much offense on the day, but rebounded from that scoring drive for their only score to cut the lead to 13-7.

Andre Woodson went the entire way for Kentucky, despite playing under the weather. He finished the game completing 13-27 for 141 yards, 0 interceptions. Little led the Kentucky ball carriers with 114 yards on 24 carries. Arliss Beach chipped in with 81 yards on 14 carries.

The Cats dominated the field position/punting game, punting seven times for an average of 36.0 yards--but more importantly, downing five punts inside the 20. Mississippi State managed only seven returns yards on the seven punts. UK's return game was also good, returning six Bulldog punts for a total of 89 yards on the day. Neither team committed a turnover.

UK head coach Rich Brooks commented on the play of his team. "I'm just really happy our players get to enjoy a victory and I think this was the closest thing to 60 minutes we've played all year long. We had some lapses and things that went wrong but Mississippi State is a decent football team. They made some plays. The key thing for us was we made the plays when we had to tonight."

Kentucky moves to 2-5 (1-3) with the victory. The Cats face Auburn next Saturday in Lexington at 1:00 p.m. Mississippi State falls to 2-6 (0-5) with the loss.

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