STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Vick Ballard rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown, and No. 23 Mississippi State relied on its running game and defense to beat Kentucky 24-17 on Saturday.
The Wildcats threatened to tie the game in the final minute, but quarterback Mike Hartline's pass was intercepted by Johnthan Banks at the goal line to seal a sixth straight victory for Mississippi State (7-2, 3-2 Southeastern Conference) - its longest streak since 1999.
Kentucky (4-5, 1-5) hasn't beaten a ranked team on the road since 1998. Randall Cobb caught 12 passes for 171 yards and a touchdown.
The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 10-0 lead, but Kentucky clawed its way back, tying the game at 17 late in the third quarter on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Hartline to Moncell Allen. Mississippi State scored the go-ahead touchdown on Chris Relf's 5-yard run midway through the fourth quarter.