LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (WCBI Sports/MSU Athletics) - It took overtime to secure the victory, but Mississippi State found a way to win on the road Saturday afternoon, beating Arkansas 24-17. State (5-6, 2-5 SEC) kept bowl hopes alive with the win. Arkansas fell to 3-8, 0-6 in the league.
True freshman Bulldog quarterback Damian Williams scored the winning touchdown for the Bulldogs on the first play of overtime, a 25-yard scamper up the middle. Sophomore cornerback Taveze Calhoun sealed the win by intercepting the Razorbacks on fourth down on the potential game-tying possession for the Hogs.
Sophomore running back Josh Robinson led the way for MSU offensively, racking up 101 yards on the ground despite only playing in the second half. Signal caller Tyler Russell, named the starting quarterback shortly before the game, put up a gritty effort despite his injury from last week, completing 18-of-28 passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns. Junior receiver Jameon Lewis made a big return to the stat book, catching six passes for 84 yards and a score.
Defensively, the Bulldogs forced two fumbles and racked up seven tackles for loss to keep the Razorback offense in check. Senior safety Nickoe Whitley, in addition to a forced and recovered fumble, led the team with 10 tackles on the afternoon.
MSU returns home on Thursday to host arch rival Ole Miss in a Thanksgiving edition of the Egg Bowl at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN.