Mississippi State downs Vols, 41-31

The Vols drop to 3-3 overall and 0-3 in league play with the loss.

Mississippi State running back LaDarius Perkins (27) runs for short yardage in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Tennessee in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) -- Tyler Russell threw for 291 yards and two touchdowns, LaDarius Perkins added 101 rushing yards and a touchdown and No. 19 Mississippi State beat Tennessee 41-31 on Saturday night.

Mississippi State (6-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) continues its best start since 1999. The Bulldogs led 27-14 at halftime, but the Volunteers rallied to cut the margin to 34-31 by midway through the fourth quarter.

Russell sealed the victory with a 9-yard pass to Malcolm Johnson with nine seconds remaining. The junior quarterback completed 23 of 37 passes and set career highs in completions, attempts and passing yards.

Tennessee's Tyler Bray completed 13 of 24 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns. Tennessee lost for the first time in the series since 1994, snapping a six-game winning streak.

Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson had a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. The Volunteers (3-3, 0-3) have lost all three games to ranked opponents.


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