Skyhawks Drilled in Starkville

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Vick Ballard rushed for 102 yards and two touchdowns to lead Mississippi State to a 55-17 victory over Tennessee-Martin Saturday night.

The Bulldogs (5-4) posted 570 yards of total offense in the game and averaged 8.3 yards per play.

The Skyhawks (5-4) racked up 454 offensive yards, but struggled on third down.

In the first quarter Mississippi State marched 80 yards in 13 plays and Ballard scampered in for a 5-yard touchdown, the Bulldogs' first on an opening drive this season.

Jonathan Banks returned a Tennessee-Martin punt 65 yards for a touchdown on the next possession. Dueling quarterbacks Tyler Russell and Chris Relf each threw a touchdown passes for the Bulldogs in the first half, and Mississippi State led 28-3 at the break.

Relf finished 5 of 6 for 61 yards and two touchdowns for the Bulldogs.

Kenny Jones scored both Tennessee-Martin touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving.

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