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Perkins' big day lifts Mississippi State over Ole Miss

Nov 28, 2010 - 6:04 AM Oxford, MS (Sports Network) - LaDarius Perkins gained 238 yards from scrimmage and caught two of Chris Relf's three touchdown passes, as No. 25 Mississippi State captured the Golden Egg with a 31-23 victory over Ole Miss.

Relf was 13-of-20 for 288 yards with an interception and found Perkins three times for 140 yards. Vick Ballard added a rushing score for the Bulldogs (8-4, 4-4 SEC), who were coming off a double-overtime loss to Arkansas last week.

Jeremiah Masoli threw for 261 yards with a touchdown and an interception and was unable to drive the Rebels (4-8, 1-7) down for a tying score in the final minute.

Ole Miss, which wound up losing six of its final seven games, cut its deficit to 31-23 when Ja-Mes Logan's 24-yard grab capped a 10-play, 80-yard march with 4:21 remaining.

The Rebels got the ball back with 2:30 on the clock, but an illegal block on second down and poor pass protection on 4th-and-24 ended any hope of a comeback.

"It's been a tough season," Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt said. "It seems like everybody has been getting hurt this year. It has been tough; I really hate it for the seniors. I am disappointed that we will not be playing anymore this year, I just hate it."

Late in the first quarter, Ole Miss' Jeremy McGee stripped Chris Smith of the football and recovered the fumble at the Mississippi State 16. On the next play, Jeff Scott ran it in with 3:28 left.

The extra point was blocked, allowing the Bulldogs to take the lead on Smith's 15-yard grab. The TD was set up by Relf's 71-yard run on the first play of the second quarter.

Bryson Rose's 34-yard kick gave the Rebels the lead again, but Relf hooked up with Perkins for scores of 33 and 36 yards to take a 21-9 lead into the break.

"He had a big night," Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen said of Perkins. "He is a really explosive player. We are not loaded with play makers. We have guys who make plays, but we are not loaded with play makers and he is one of our play makers."

Derek DePasquale padded the lead with a 42-yard field goal early in the third quarter, and the Bulldogs pulled ahead, 31-9, when Ballard took a draw eight yards to paydirt to finish off a six-play, 79-yard drive with less than three minutes left in the third.

The Rebels made it a two-possession game when Brandon Bolden ran in from 10 yards out on 4th-and-1 less than two minutes into the final quarter.

Ole Miss appeared to have momentum on its side when DePasquale missed a 47- yard field goal a little later, but on the second play of the ensuing possession, Masoli was intercepted by Corey Broomfield at the Rebels 41.

Game Notes

Ballard, who set a school record with 16 touchdowns this year, logged 43 yards on 22 carries...Bolden, who gained 45 yards and 12 carries and 78 yards on six receptions, tied the Ole Miss mark of 14 rushing TDs...Ole Miss still leads the all-time series, 60-41-6.