STARKVILLE, Miss. — Isaiah Spiller ran for 114 yards and two touchdowns and Kellen Mond threw for two scores to help No. 11 Texas A&M beat Mississippi State, 28-14, on Saturday.
Texas A&M (3-1) led 14-0 at the half and had 325 yards of total offense in the game. Ainias Smith caught five passes for 20 yards and a touchdown. Chase Lane had a 51-yard touchdown reception in the opening minutes of the third quarter.
Mississippi State (1-3) had little offensive rhythm for the third straight game. The Bulldogs' first touchdown came on Emmanuel Forbes' interception return in the third quarter.
"I thought we literally squandered the first half," Bulldogs coach Mike Leach said. "Right now we're one team on Tuesday and Wednesday and another team on Saturday. We need to be able to transition that to the field. And if you think that's frustrating for you, you should try it from my perspective."
Leach benched starting quarterback KJ Costello midway through the second half for freshman Will Rogers, same as he did last week in a 24-2 loss at Kentucky. Rogers connected with Malik Heath for a 15-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
"Offensively, we were a bunch of pincushions out there," Leach said. "And I think its mental on the part of our o-line, because we can block our own defensive line consistently in practice and A&M couldn't even do that. So it's definitely mental."
Texas A&M's defense continually disrupted the line of scrimmage, finishing with six sacks and eight tackles for loss. Mississippi State had minus-2 yards rushing and just 217 yards of total offense.
"Day 1 we believed in the game plan," tackle Jayden Peevy said. "We saw Kentucky come with a three-man front. We watched a lot of film against these guys. We saw (Kentucky) get a victory so we planned on it all week."
With just over 11 minutes left in the game, Heath's touchdown put Mississippi State down just two scores. The Aggies went three-and-out on their next possession, but the Bulldogs couldn't capitalize and Texas A&M ran out the final five minutes by pounding the ball on the ground with eight straight rushes by Smith.
"When you're on the road, you've got to be able to control clock, control tempo, and you've got to run the football to do that," coach Jimbo Fisher said. "And we did at times today. The other part was running out the last five, six minutes of the game when we got the ball and we got down there and could have had a score. We didn't, but eating that clock up and not giving it back, that was huge."
Texas A&M will look to move up in the Top 25 after the key Southeastern Conference road victory. The five teams immediately above the Aggies were all idle Saturday.
Kentucky 34, Tennessee 7
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Kelvin Joseph and Jami Davis returned interceptions for touchdowns in the first half and Kentucky shut out No. 18 Tennessee in the second half to bury the Volunteers.
It was Kentucky's first win in Neyland Stadium since 1984, the Wildcats' largest margin of victory in Knoxville since 56-0 in 1893 and their most lopsided victory in the series since 1935.
After getting six interceptions and allowing only a safety against Mississippi State last week, Kentucky (2-2) picked off three passes against the Vols (2-2).
Tennessee has now followed up an eight-game winning streak with a two-game losing streak.
Joseph's 41-yard touchdown and Davis' 85-yard return — both off interceptions thrown by Jarrett Guarantano — helped put Kentucky up 17-0 in the second quarter.
With about 5 minutes left in the third quarter and trailing by 20, Tennessee went three-and-out for a second consecutive possession and was showered with boos from the sparse crowd of 22,519.
Earlier in the season, Kentucky had shown signs of having difficulty recovering from adversity. Against Ole Miss, a missed field goal was followed by 21 straight Ole Miss points and a 42-41 loss.
Kentucky seemed to solve that Saturday.
After falling behind 17-0 in the second quarter, Tennessee was able to grind out a 75-yard drive to cut the deficit to 10 at the half.
The Vols had the first possession of the third quarter, but went three-and-out. The Wildcats' offense responded with a 76-yard march that ended in a 1-yard TD pass from Terry Wilson to Allen Dailey Jr.
Chris Rodriguez had a 2-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to stretch the Kentucky lead to 34-7.
Four Tennessee turnovers — three interceptions and a fumble — dictated the first half.
West Virginia 38, Kansas 17
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Leddie Brown broke open a close game with a long touchdown run in the third quarter and caught one of Jarret Doege's three touchdown passes to lead West Virginia over a winless Kansas team that was without head coach Les Miles.
Before a crowd of 10,759 in the first game that West Virginia allowed the general public to attend amid the pandemic, the Mountaineers (3-1, 2-1 Big 12) overcame a bevy of mistakes to beat the Jayhawks for the seventh straight time.
With West Virginia clinging to a 17-10 lead late in the third quarter, Brown came into the game needing to get a first down. Brown rumbled 87 yards up the middle untouched, the start of three straight touchdowns for the Mountaineers.
"I'd seen a little crease. I jumped through it and I seen green — a whole bunch of green field," Brown said. "I just hit it."
The 210-pound junior compiled 195 yards on 18 carries, sitting out the fourth quarter. With 515 yards through four games, Brown has eclipsed his season rushing totals in each of the past two seasons.
Brown also had a 6-yard scoring reception in the second quarter from Doege, who also had TD passes of 33 yards to Bryce Ford-Wheaton and 8 yards to Sam James.
Doege completed 26 of 44 passes for 318 yards.