Will Rogers leads Mississippi State in Zach Arnett’s debut, Bulldogs roll past SE Louisiana, 48-7
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Will Rogers threw for threw for 227 yards and Mississippi State overcame a slow start and rolled 48-7 over Southeastern Louisiana in the season opener for both schools on Saturday.
The game marked the debut of head coach Zach Arnett, who coached the Bulldogs in the ReliaQuest Bowl win over Illinois to close the 2022 season after legendary coach Mike Leach died suddenly last December. Leach was honored by the Bulldogs following the first quarter with his widow, Sharon in attendance.
The Bulldogs had just a 3-0 lead at the end of the first quarter before putting up 17 points in the second in a 20-7 lead at the half. MSU managed to find its footing in the second half to pull away for good.
Rogers waas 20-of-29 passing and passed Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel for seventh in SEC history in career passing yards. Rogers now has 10,916 yards and is chasing Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray’s mark of 13,166.
Jo’Quavious “Woody” Marks finished with 19 carries for 127 yards and two touchdowns and added four catches for 59 yards. It was the first time an MSU running back went over 100 yards rushing in a game since 2019.
MSU out gained the Lions 525-208 and had 282 yards on the ground.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs were breaking in a new head coach, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator and it looked that way in the first quarter. As the game went on, the Bulldogs asserted their will the rest of the ball game and had an impressive final three quarters.
Southeastern Louisiana: It’s never easy for an FCS to compete against SEC teams but the Lions held their own for most of the first half. The team is expected to compete in the FCS this season.
Mississippi State hosts Arizona next Saturday
Southeastern Louisiana travels to South Alabama next Saturday