BYU football loses at Mississippi State 35-10

Ari Davis
Tanner Mangum throws the ball during the game against Portland State. (Ari Davis)

The BYU football team lost its sixth game of the season at Mississippi State Saturday, falling 35-10 to the Bulldogs.

The Cougars’ record stands at 1-6; marking the first time since 1968 that BYU has lost six games in a row.

“There were some positives, but not enough,” said coach Kalani Sitake. “If it did not feel like our backs are up against a wall before, it does now. We head east next week, and we have to be ready for East Carolina. Hopefully, we can get things fixed and perform better by then.”

Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald scored the first points of the game with a 15-yard TD run in the first quarter as part of a 10-play, 89-yard drive.

In the second quarter, BYU’s Dayan Ghanwoloku intercepted a pass in the end zone and returned it 67 yards.

However, on the ensuing possession, Ula Tolutau fumbled and the Bulldogs recovered it at the Mississippi State 26-yard line. Donald Grey later caught a touchdown pass, making the score 14-0.

Later in the second quarter, Tanner Mangum’s 43-yard pass to Alevo Hifo set up kicker Rhett Almond for a career-high 38-yard field goal, which put BYU on the board at 14-3.

The score at halftime was 21-3 after Fitzgerald added his second touchdown pass of the game 22 seconds before the break.

In the second half, Fitzgerald threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Jamal Couch to put the Bulldogs up 28-3.

With less than a minute left in the third quarter, Ghanwoloku intercepted his second pass of the game, making this his first two-interception game of his career.

Mangum then found Hifo in the end zone to make the score 28-10.

BYU’s kicker Andrew Mikkelsen was later able to force a fumble on Mississippi’s kickoff return and wide receiver Aikle Davis recovered the ball inside the 30-yard line.

However, a Bulldog interception quickly ended the drive.

Mississippi State was able to score its final touchdown with 7:20 to play in the fourth quarter, making the final score 35-10.

While BYU lost, Hifo had a career-high in both receptions (5) and yards (77).

Mangum completed 16 passes on 26 attempts with one touchdown and one interception.

Butch Pau’u had 12 tackles and Sione Takitaki added 10.

The Cougars’ next game will be at East Carolina on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 5 p.m. MDT and will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network.

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