STARKVILLE, Miss. — Kylin Hill rushed for 123 yards and one touchdown to lead Mississippi State to a 38-15 win over Southern Mississippi Saturday at Davis Wade Stadium.
Hill was injured late in the first half but returned in the second half and totaled 67 yards and his touchdown run in the second half. The Bulldogs (2-0) finished with 386 yards of total offense and collected 210 yards on the ground.
"I thought we didn't flinch in the face of adversity and we had moments to do that," said head coach Joe Moorhead. "We had one guy go down on offense and then on defense. But as I've said, we have good leadership in our program and we have to be like our mascot and be a Bulldog. Our offense found a good balance and productivity. We left some things on the field but as we progress, we will clean those things up. It was just a good team win."
Southern Miss (1-1) was held scoreless in the first 40 minutes of action. The Golden Eagles got their first touchdown on a Jack Abraham 28-yard touchdown pass to Jaylond Adams. Abraham also connected with Jordan Mitchell in the final quarter on a 65-yard scoring toss.
Mississippi State was efficient in the first half on offense and held a 21-0 lead at halftime. Quarterback Tommy Stevens opened the game a perfect 9 of 9 passing before being injured late in the second quarter. Stevens had touchdown passes to Osirus Mitchell and Stephen Guidry before exiting the game.
The Bulldogs added a Nick Gibson 13-yard touchdown run with 42 seconds left in the first half. But the first half was costly for Mississippi State as Stevens did not return to action in the second half. The former Penn State transfer finished 9 of 10 passing for 105 yards and two touchdowns.
"I think Tommy started off well and had a good streak going," said Moorhead. "It was not so much what we were seeing but what we gameplanned for. But it is what I was preaching last year. We want to be a team that is balanced and the last two games, hopefully we saw a snapshot of what we want to be. If a team takes away one aspect, we want to be able to throw it or run it."
Abraham finished 16 of 26 passing for 234 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
"Give Mississippi State credit," said Southern Miss head coach Jay Hopson. "They played a good game and deserved the win. Our guys fought hard. We had some adversity early. I don't think we came out of the blocks real good in the first quarter. But we got it two scores with (6:31) left to play. Of course, we had a big turnover that sealed the game. We fought hard, but made a lot of mistakes."
Southern Miss' Jordan Mitchell led all receivers with five catches for 94 yards and his third-quarter touchdown. As a team, the Golden Eagles totaled 344 yard of ffense and had three turnovers.