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Will Mississippi State avoid errors as Bulldogs seek to beat Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington?

Photo: Austin Perryman/Mississippi State Athletics

Mississippi State hasn’t had much luck against the Kentucky Wildcats in their last two trips to the Bluegrass State. In Mississippi State’s last two games against Kentucky in Lexington, the Bulldogs have been handed a couple of deflating losses.

State has already shown this year it is prone to turning the ball over and giving away points. If the Bulldogs hope to beat the Wildcats in Lexington this season, those errors have to stop.

Four years ago, in the first year of the post-Dak Prescott era of Mississippi State football, State lost 40-38 on a last second 51-yard field goal. That loss in 2016 ended a seven-game winning streak over Kentucky for Dan Mullen and the Bulldogs.

In 2018, Mississippi State was steamrolled by the Wildcats. What the Bulldogs were supposed to do to other teams (run the ball well, put the quarterback on the ground, stuff the run, etc.) is exactly what happened to the Joe Moorhead-coached Bulldogs in Lexington.

State lost by three touchdowns.

Now, the third Mississippi State football coach in as many trips to Lexington is looking to get a key road win over the Wildcats.

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And State really needs a win here.

But the Bulldogs can’t really afford to give the ball away to Kentucky the way they did against Arkansas and LSU. The turnover troubles must come to an end if Mississippi State is to get a road win.

K.J. Costello has already thrown five interceptions this season, two of which have been returned for touchdowns. In fact, opposing defenses have a total of 109 interception return yards so far this year. But MSU’s issues aren’t just interceptions. State has also fumbled the ball away three times.

In total, Arkansas and LSU scored 24 points off of turnovers. MSU is lucky that number isn’t much higher.

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While MSU has turned the ball over eight times so far this year, Kentucky has just four turnovers, one pick and three fumbles.

State’s defense has been stingy, there’s a chance that the Bulldogs might be able to add to that total number of turnovers Kentucky has committed, but it seems unlikely that MSU wins the turnover battle this evening.

Kentucky controls the time of possession, runs the ball well, and has an offense that seems to be the antithesis to what Leach and company want to do.

Because of that, if the Bulldogs want to win in Lexington, the turnovers need to stop.

For more independent Mississippi State news and commentary, follow The Underdog Tribune on Facebook and Twitter. Follow Ethan Lee on Facebook and Twitter.

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