Football Bowl Subdivision
         === Russell helps Mississippi State rout Middle Tennessee ===
 Starkville,  MS (Sports Network) - Tyler Russell threw for three touchdowns as
 No. 15 Mississippi State hammered Middle Tennessee, 45-3, on Saturday.
 Russell  completed  17-of-21 passes for 191  yards for the Bulldogs (7-0), who
 have  won nine  straight games dating back  to last season and are 7-0 for the
 second time in the program's 113-year history.
 "I  think he is getting more and more comfortable in our offense. He made some
 tough  reads  tonight and  I thought  he played  very well," Mississippi State
 coach Dan Mullen said about Russell.
 Chris  Smith  caught seven balls  for 66 yards  and two scores, while LaDarius
 Perkins finished with 125 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries in the victory.
 The  Bulldogs  face another one of  the nation's undefeated teams next week in
 top-ranked  Alabama, which is also 7-0 after rolling over Tennessee, 44-13, on
 "Our  guys are  going to be excited for  the opportunity to be able to go play
 the No. 1 team in the country," Mullen said.
 Logan   Kilgore  went  16-for-25  through  the  air  for  159  yards  with  an
 interception  for Middle  Tennessee (4-3), which fell to 0-14 all time against
 teams ranked in the Top 25.
 Anthony Amos paced all receivers with 93 yards on six receptions in defeat.
 Mississippi State received the ball first and Smith highlighted a 14-play, 74-
 yard  drive that  ate up over seven  minutes of clock with a 22-yard reception
 before  capping the  trek with a 4-yard  touchdown grab in the back of the end
 The  Bulldogs  regained the ball at  their own 42 following a three-and-out by
 Middle  Tennessee and  put together another meticulous drive to increase their
 advantage  when Devon Bell finished off the 11-play march with a 32-yard field
 goal within the final minute of the first quarter.
 Middle  Tennessee  managed just one  first down on  its next touch and Brandon
 Heavens made a leaping catch down the left sideline for a 38-yard gain to move
 Mississippi  State inside  the Blue Raiders' 20 on the ensuing possession, but
 Bell  missed a  35-yard kick wide right to  keep it a 10-0 game with 9:46 left
 in the half.
 The Blue Raiders capitalized on the miss as Kilgore converted a 3rd-and-7 with
 a 13-yard scramble and Jordan Parker reeled off runs of 19 and 14 yards to set
 up Carlos Lopez's 32-yard field goal.
 Mississippi  State  then advanced the ball  past midfield trying to answer the
 score,  but Russell  had the ball slapped  out of his hands by Shubert Bastien
 during  a sack and Middle Tennessee recovered at its own 42, keeping it a 10-3
 contest at the break.
 Middle Tennessee kept the opening possession of the third quarter alive with a
 4th-and-1  conversion thanks  to an offside penalty on the Bulldogs that moved
 the  ball to  midfield, but the Blue  Raiders would manage just one more first
 down and were forced to punt the ball away.
 The  Bulldogs  responded with Perkins' 64-yard  touchdown run up the middle to
 stretch their lead up to 17-3 with 7:30 remaining in the third.
 Three  plays  later, Johnthan Banks  intercepted a  deep pass attempt down the
 left  sideline by Kilgore and returned it 46 yards to the Middle Tennessee 25,
 setting up Smith's 11-yard touchdown reception.
 Banks injured his left knee on the play and did not return to the game, but he
 remained on the sideline and was walking without a limp.
 Kilgore  again fumbled  the ball away during a sack on Middle Tennessee's next
 touch  and  Mississippi State  capitalized  on  the  short field  with  Robert
 Johnson's  23-yard catch on  the left side of the end zone on the next play to
 put the Bulldogs on top, 31-3, late in the third quarter.
 Dak  Prescott  replaced Russell under  center for  the fourth quarter and Nick
 Griffin's  44-yard scamper down the left sideline on the Bulldog's first drive
 of  the  frame preceded  Prescott's 5-yard  rush across the  goal line to pull
 Mississippi State further away.
 Derrick  Milton's  6-yard TD run capped  a streak of five straight Mississippi
 State possessions ending in a touchdown.
 Middle  Tennessee would  not move the ball into the Bulldogs' territory in the
 fourth quarter until the final drive of the game, but the Blue Raiders came up
 empty  as backup  quarterback Jeff Murphy was picked off by Kendrick Market in
 the end zone on the final play of the game.
 "We  just  couldn't get anything  going in  the second half," Middle Tennessee
 coach  Rick  Stockstill said. "I told  the guys afterwards that I thought they
 competed their tails off to the very end. We were just out-manned at times."
                                   Game Notes
 Banks'  interception  was the  16th of  his career, tying  a school record ...
 Mississippi  State  has won 15  straight non-conference games ... The Bulldogs
 lead  the  all-time series, 5-0 ...  Prescott finished 3-of-4 for 24 yards ...
 Parker  had 66 yards  on 13 carries ... Mississippi State totaled 446 yards of
 offense,  while  Middle Tennessee finished  with 305  ... The Bulldogs went 9-
 for-12 on third downs.
 10/20 23:53:51 ET