STARKVILLE, Miss. – Vick Ballard rushed for 119 yards and three touchdowns, leading Mississippi State to a 49-16 victory over Alcorn State on Saturday.
Mississippi State (3-2) dominated from the start, opening with an eight-play touchdown drive. The Bulldogs led 35-16 at halftime.
Alcorn State (3-1) scored all 16 of its points in the second quarter. The Braves moved the ball efficiently with 330 total yards and 16 first downs, but were 5-for-15 on third-down conversions and struggled deep in Mississippi State territory.
The Bulldogs racked up 566 yards of total offense, plus another 153 yards and a touchdown on three Leon Berry kickoff returns. Chad Bumphis made nine catches for 133 yards and two touchdowns.
Mississippi State starting quarterback Chris Relf completed 11 of 15 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns, while freshman backup Tyler Russell was 8-for-14 for 127 yards and an interception.
Alcorn State quarterback Brandon Bridge completed 13 of 24 passes and rushed for 103 yards. He rushed for a 78-yard touchdown and threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Singleton to pull the Braves within eight points at 21-13.
But the Bulldogs' offense and special teams couldn't be stopped.
Berrys 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown late in the second quarter gave the Bulldogs their 35-16 halftime advantage.
Mississippi State tacked on two fourth-quarter touchdowns, one on a 75-yard run by Ballard.