Mississippi State wins defensive battle at Arkansas


Mike Wright threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Jo’quavious Marks for the game’s only touchdown and the Mississippi State defense smothered the Arkansas offense in a 7-3 victory Saturday in Fayetteville, Ark.

Wright started in place of Will Rogers, who suffered a shoulder injury against Western Michigan in the Bulldogs’ last game two weeks ago. Wright passed for 85 yards and rushed for a game-high 60. Marks added 42 rushing yards on 17 carries.

MSU (4-3, 1-3 Southeastern Conference), which had given up an average of 43 points in its previous SEC games, limited Arkansas to 200 total yards. The Bulldogs gained 205.

Arkansas (2-6, 0-5) lost its sixth consecutive game as it played its first home game in five weeks.

On the second play from scrimmage, Alfahiym Walcott intercepted Wright at the MSU 35, leading to Cam Little’s 24-yard field goal and a 3-0 Arkansas lead that held up through the end of the first quarter.

On the fourth play of the second quarter, Wright threw the scoring pass to Marks to give MSU the lead and complete the scoring.

On the Razorbacks’ second possession of the third quarter, they gained four first downs and reached field-goal range before stalling. But when lined up for a 51-yard field-goal attempt, they committed a delay-of-game penalty and punted.

Arkansas reached the MSU 46 midway through the fourth quarter, but K.J. Jefferson was intercepted by Shawn Preston Jr.

Jefferson completed 19 of 31 for 97 yards and rushed 16 times for 38 yards in the game.

The Bulldogs’ Zavion Thomas returned a punt 31 yards to the Razorbacks’ 46 with 5:11 remaining in the game. MSU lost 11 yards in three plays and punted the ball back to Arkansas with 2:56 remaining, but the Razorbacks turned the ball over on downs.

MSU had a chance to extend its lead, but Kyle Ferrie missed a 29-yard field-goal attempt with 1:14 left.

Arkansas reached the Bulldogs 48 before time expired.

–Field Level Media

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