PROVO, Utah (WJTV) – One highlight reel leap, two overtimes, and a field rush later, Mississippi State had a first of the wrong kind under Dan Mullen.
The Bulldogs dropped their first road non-conference game during their head coach’s eight-year tenure Friday night after BYU held on to top MSU 28-21 in double overtime.
The two teams didn’t trade many points in regulation. Nick Fitzgerald found Keith Mixon for a 44-yard touchdown to put the Bulldogs ahead in the first quarter. The Cougars responded with under a minute in the quarter when Hunter Marshall caught a one-yard score from Taysom Hill.
Fitzgerald would find paydirt again in the second quarter, this time with his legs from a yard out to give his team a 14-7 lead. Mississippi State clung to that lead until Moroni Laulu-Pututau caught a 15-yard touchdown from Hill to tie things up in the fourth quarter.
In the first overtime, Fitzgerald’s sensational hurdle from four yards out over a defender put the Bulldogs ahead 21-14. But after the defense could not come up with a loose ball after stripping Hill, BYU sent the game to a second overtime once Hill snuck in for a touchdown from a yard out.
It only took Hill one play to strike again in the second overtime. He found tight end Tanner Balderree, who had plenty of open space on his way to the go-ahead 25-yard touchdown.
On fourth down of the ensuing drive, Fitzgerald’s pass fell incomplete and the Cougars celebrated their first-ever home win over a SEC opponent.
Fitzgerald finished 17 for 36 with 214 yards and three total touchdowns, but also two interceptions. Hill passed for just 165 yards, but found the end zone four times. Aeris Williams was steady on the ground for MSU, averaging 3.9 yards per carry while racking up 89 yards on the ground. Cougar running back Jamaal Williams became BYU’s all-time leading rusher in the first overtime.
Mississippi State falls to 2-4 for the first time since 2009, Mullen’s first year with the program. The Bulldogs will travel to Kentucky next on Oct. 22.