Drive Chart
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MISSST

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Mullen, Florida beat No. 23 Mississippi State 13-6

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) When Florida needed a fourth-down stop late in the fourth quarter, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham made a bold call with a safety blitz. Coach Dan Mullen knew the risk of leaving that part of the field open and loved it anyway.

''I've learned one thing through the years,'' the offensive-minded Mullen said with a grin. ''Shut my mouth in that situation.''

A few moments later, Florida's Donovan Stiner blasted through the line of scrimmage, sacked Nick Fitzgerald and put an exclamation point on the defense's dominant performance in a 13-6 victory over No. 23 Mississippi State on Saturday night.

Mullen won in his return to Starkville, guiding Florida to success in his first appearance at Davis Wade Stadium since leaving Mississippi State in November after nine mostly successful seasons.

Florida wasn't great offensively, but it didn't matter. The Gators (4-1, 2-1) broke through in the third quarter when Feleipe Franks threw a lateral to Kadarius Toney, who then threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Moral Stephens for a 10-6 lead.

Mullen said repeatedly throughout the week that Florida's game in Starkville wasn't about him, but Toney said it was still a motivating factor for the Gators.

''We had that chip on our shoulders,'' Toney said. ''We knew that we took what was theirs and they wanted it back.''

After Toney's touchdown pass, Florida slowly grinded toward the win. A 10-play, 36-yard drive in the fourth quarter led to a 21-yard field goal by Evan McPherson - giving the Gators a 13-6 lead - and the Mississippi State offense was never able to respond.

''We found a way to win a different style game,'' Mullen said. ''In this league you're doing to win all different styles of games. Last week we won with the big play. This week we won by grinding it out.''

Franks finished 22 of 31 passing for 219 yards. He didn't throw a touchdown, but was the steady hand that guided crucial drives throughout the second half.

Mississippi State (3-2, 0-2) had its chances to win and led 6-3 at halftime. The Bulldogs looked like they were going to break the game open in the third quarter when Nick Fitzgerald fired a perfect pass downfield to Osirus Mitchell, but the ball bounced awkwardly off his hands and fell to the turf.

The Bulldogs had one more chance late in the fourth quarter, but Fitzgerald was sacked by Stiner on fourth down. Mississippi State has scored just one touchdown over the past two games.

''We're going to have to find a way to start scoring some points,'' Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead said. ''Very frustrating.''

Mullen's Gators took the field to plenty of cowbells and lots of boos before Saturday's game, though the reception wasn't much worse than most opposing teams get in Starkville.

Once the game started, highlights were limited. Both teams stuck to a conservative, ground-based offense that produced no first-half touchdowns and the Bulldogs took a 6-3 lead into halftime. It wouldn't last.

Mississippi State - which will almost certainly fall out of the Top 25 after the loss - has dropped two straight.

''We're just going to have to move on and get better,'' defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons said.

EMOTIONAL MULLEN

Mullen got a little choked up when talking about some of the conversations he had after the game with his former Mississippi State players. Mullen had a 69-46 record over nine seasons in Starkville.

''It's hard to explain the coach-player relationship,'' Mullen said. ''It's such an unbelievably tight relationship.''

THE TAKEAWAY

Florida has now won three straight games since losing to Kentucky in the second week of the season. The Gators leaned on their defense one week after the offense carried them to a 47-21 win over Tennessee.

It was another ugly performance from Mississippi State, which also lost to Kentucky 28-7 last week. The Bulldogs have no rhythm offensively and are struggling to both run and pass. It's obviously very early in the coach Joe Moorhead-Mississippi State marriage, but right now, it's a little rocky in Starkville. Mississippi State managed just 202 total yards.

UP NEXT

Florida hosts LSU next Saturday.

Mississippi State hosts Auburn next Saturday.

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Follow David Brandt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/davidbrandtAP .

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More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 6:12
19-E.McPherson 21 yards Field Goal is Good.
9
plays
36
yds
04:28
pos
13
6
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 8:26
19-E.McPherson extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
10
6
Touchdown 8:33
4-K.Toney complete to 82-M.Stephens. 82-M.Stephens runs 20 yards for a touchdown.
6
plays
73
yds
02:53
pos
9
6
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 4:11
47-J.Christmann 39 yards Field Goal is Good.
13
plays
53
yds
06:18
pos
3
6
Field Goal 10:52
19-E.McPherson 39 yards Field Goal is Good.
18
plays
63
yds
02:58
pos
3
3
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 4:01
47-J.Christmann 34 yards Field Goal is Good.
11
plays
59
yds
05:42
pos
0
3
Team Stats
1st Downs 20 15
Rushing 7 7
Passing 13 6
Penalty 0 2
3rd Down Conv 5-14 2-12
4th Down Conv 1-1 0-2
Total Net Yards 347 163
Total Plays 66 58
Avg Gain 5.3 2.8
Net Yards Rushing 118 104
Rush Attempts 34 32
Avg Rush Yards 3.5 3.3
Net Yards Passing 229 59
Comp. - Att. 23-32 11-26
Yards Per Pass 7.2 2.3
Sacked - Yards Lost 1-10 6-39
Penalties - Yards 11-90 2-15
Touchdowns 1 0
Rushing TDs 0 0
Passing TDs 1 0
Other 0 0
Turnovers 1 0
Fumbles - Lost 1-0 0-0
Int. Thrown 1 0
Punts - Avg 5-37.2 6-37.7
Return Yards 36 52
Punts - Returns 2-9 0-0
Kickoffs - Returns 2-27 3-45
Int. - Returns 0-0 1-7
Kicking 3/3 2/2
Extra Points 1/1 0/0
Field Goals 2/2 2/2
Safeties 0 0
1234T
Florida 4-1 037313
23 Miss. State 3-2 33006
229 PASS YDS 59
118 RUSH YDS 104
347 TOTAL YDS 163
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
F. Franks 13 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
71% 219 0 1 123.9
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
57.1% 961 12 3 147.9
F. Franks 22/31 219 0 1
K. Toney 4 RB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
100% 20 1 0 598.0
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
100% 20 1 0 598.0
K. Toney 1/1 20 1 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
L. Perine 22 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
10 55 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
29 170 0
L. Perine 10 55 0 22
D. Pierce 27 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
4 30 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
25 255 2
D. Pierce 4 30 0 14
J. Scarlett 25 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
10 21 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
40 203 2
J. Scarlett 10 21 0 8
K. Toney 4 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 20 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
6 73 0
K. Toney 2 20 0 16
F. Franks 13 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
6 -4 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
38 110 1
F. Franks 6 -4 0 4
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
J. Hammond 10 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 47 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
5 64 1
J. Hammond 3 47 0 20
T. Grimes 8 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 34 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
10 124 1
T. Grimes 4 34 0 12
V. Jefferson 12 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 29 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
12 156 3
V. Jefferson 4 29 0 12
L. Perine 22 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 24 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 42 0
L. Perine 2 24 0 16
F. Swain 16 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 21 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
10 214 3
F. Swain 2 21 0 12
M. Stephens 82 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 20 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
4 65 2
M. Stephens 1 20 1 20
C. Lewis 80 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 18 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 18 0
C. Lewis 1 18 0 18
T. Cleveland 89 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 16 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
9 96 2
T. Cleveland 2 16 0 10
K. Toney 4 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 9 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
5 53 0
K. Toney 1 9 0 9
K. Pitts 84 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 9 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 9 0
K. Pitts 1 9 0 9
D. Pierce 27 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 6 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 6 0
D. Pierce 1 6 0 6
L. Krull 14 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 6 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 39 0
L. Krull 1 6 0 6
R. Wells 83 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 6 0
R. Wells 0 0 0 0
J. Scarlett 25 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
4 48 0
J. Scarlett 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
V. Joseph 11 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-2 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-2 0 1.0
V. Joseph 5-2 1.0 0
C. McWilliams 12 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
C. McWilliams 4-0 0.0 0
B. Stewart, jr. 2 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 1 0.0
B. Stewart, jr. 4-0 0.0 0
J. Polite 99 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 2.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 2.0
J. Polite 3-0 2.0 0
Je. Taylor 29 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
Je. Taylor 3-0 0.0 0
R. Jackson 44 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
R. Jackson 3-0 0.0 0
C. Gardner-Johnson 23 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.0
C. Gardner-Johnson 3-2 0.0 0
C. Jefferson 96 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
C. Jefferson 3-1 0.0 0
D. Stiner 13 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 1.0
D. Stiner 2-0 1.0 0
J. Zuniga 92 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 1.0
J. Zuniga 2-1 1.0 0
S. Davis 31 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
S. Davis 2-0 0.0 0
C. Henderson 5 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 1 1.0
C. Henderson 1-0 1.0 0
K. Campbell 55 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
K. Campbell 1-0 0.0 0
V. Jefferson 12 WR
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
V. Jefferson 1-0 0.0 0
E. Conliffe 93 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
E. Conliffe 1-0 0.0 0
L. Brunson 34 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
L. Brunson 1-0 0.0 0
B. Edwards 6 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
B. Edwards 1-1 0.0 0
A. Shuler 95 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
A. Shuler 1-1 0.0 0
T. Slaton 56 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
T. Slaton 0-1 0.0 0
L. Ancrum 98 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-2 1 0.0
L. Ancrum 0-2 0.0 0
D. Reese 33 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-2 0 0.0
D. Reese 0-2 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
E. McPherson 19 K
IN-GAME FG XP
2/2 1/1
SEASON FG XP
8/9 18/18
E. McPherson 2/2 39 1/1 7
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
T. Townsend 43 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
5 37.2 5
SEASON NO AVG IN20
20 41.4 5
T. Townsend 5 37.2 5 50
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
F. Swain 16 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 6.0 6 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 6.0 6 0
F. Swain 1 6.0 6 0
K. Toney 4 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 21.0 21 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
3 19.0 21 0
K. Toney 1 21.0 21 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
F. Swain 16 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 4.5 11 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
8 19.3 11 1
F. Swain 2 4.5 11 0
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
N. Fitzgerald 7 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
42.3% 98 0 0 74.0
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
49.1% 640 4 2 108.5
N. Fitzgerald 11/26 98 0 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
K. Hill 8 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
9 41 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
45 348 3
K. Hill 9 41 0 12
N. Fitzgerald 7 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
20 32 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
70 318 5
N. Fitzgerald 20 32 0 11
Ae. Williams 26 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
3 31 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
24 169 1
Ae. Williams 3 31 0 17
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
O. Mitchell 87 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 35 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
12 219 2
O. Mitchell 3 35 0 12
D. Thomas 2 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 21 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
5 94 0
D. Thomas 2 21 0 17
S. Guidry 1 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 18 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
10 192 1
S. Guidry 2 18 0 15
F. Green 82 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 8 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 22 0
F. Green 1 8 0 8
Je. Jackson 86 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 8 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 14 0
Je. Jackson 1 8 0 8
K. Hill 8 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 8 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
9 93 2
K. Hill 2 8 0 10
K. Mixon 23 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 101 1
K. Mixon 0 0 0 0
Au. Williams 85 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 72 1
Au. Williams 0 0 0 0
Ju. Johnson 81 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 109 0
Ju. Johnson 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
E. Thompson 40 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
9-5 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
9-5 1 0.0
E. Thompson 9-5 0.0 0
M. McLaurin 41 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-2 0 0.0
M. McLaurin 5-2 0.0 0
B. Cole 32 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-1 1 0.0
B. Cole 5-1 0.0 0
L. Lewis 10 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-3 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-3 0 0.0
L. Lewis 4-3 0.0 0
C. Dantzler 3 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-1 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-1 1 0.0
C. Dantzler 4-1 0.0 1
M. Sweat 9 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
M. Sweat 3-1 0.0 0
G. Green 4 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 1.0
G. Green 3-1 1.0 0
J. Simmons 94 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
J. Simmons 3-1 0.0 0
C. Thomas 34 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
C. Thomas 2-0 0.0 0
G. Harris 90 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
G. Harris 2-0 0.0 0
W. Gay Jr. 6 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
W. Gay Jr. 2-1 0.0 0
B. Hoyett 95 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
B. Hoyett 2-1 0.0 0
C. Rivers 5 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
C. Rivers 1-1 0.0 0
F. Adams 43 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
F. Adams 1-1 0.0 0
C. Rayford 24 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
C. Rayford 1-0 0.0 0
T. Brown 96 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
T. Brown 1-0 0.0 0
J. Landrews 11 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
J. Landrews 1-0 0.0 0
Ko. Jones 52 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-2 0 0.0
Ko. Jones 0-2 0.0 0
Ke. Jones 92 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
Ke. Jones 0-1 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
J. Christmann 47 K
IN-GAME FG XP
2/2 0/0
SEASON FG XP
3/5 19/19
J. Christmann 2/2 39 0/0 6
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
K. Schexnayder 27 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
5 36.2 1
SEASON NO AVG IN20
6 36.2 1
K. Schexnayder 5 36.2 1 47
T. Day 42 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
1 45.0 0
SEASON NO AVG IN20
13 39.2 0
T. Day 1 45.0 0 45
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
B. Cole 32 S
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
3 15.0 17 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
10 22.5 17 0
B. Cole 3 15.0 17 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:30 FLA 31 3:04 8 17 Punt
3:32 MISSST 35 2:58 18 68 FG
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
3:34 MISSST 35 1:29 7 4 Punt
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
0:04 MISSST 35 0:00 7 20 INT
11:26 FLA 27 2:53 6 73 TD
4:46 FLA 10 4:36 10 40 Punt
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:30 FLA 43 1:25 4 23 Punt
10:40 MISSST 40 4:28 9 36 FG
4:43 FLA 35 2:08 5 23 Punt
1:06 MISSST 45 0:04 2 -4
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 FLA 35 1:26 5 -9 Punt
9:43 MISSST 24 5:42 11 59 FG
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
10:29 FLA 35 6:18 13 77 FG
2:00 MISSST 11 1:47 7 21 Halftime
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:25 MISSST 50 0:20 3 3 Punt
8:26 FLA 35 3:36 9 19 Punt
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:57 MISSST 15 1:22 3 6 Punt
12:01 MISSST 6 1:14 4 1 Punt
5:25 FLA 35 0:37 4 -15 Punt
2:27 MISSST 12 1:18 8 53 Downs