STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Nick Fitzgerald had a hand in four touchdowns to lead Mississippi State to 35-10 victory over BYU on Saturday.
Mississippi State (4-2) returned to form offensively after a bye week and two straight blowout losses on the road to ranked opponents. Executing coach Dan Mullen's balanced plan of attack, the Bulldogs had 306 rushing yards and Fitzgerald threw for 241 to cross the 500-yard mark in total offense for the third time this season.
"We did some silly things, made some silly mistakes, but overall I liked our performance," Mullen said. "I liked our mindset coming off of the bye week."
BYU (1-6) intercepted two Fitzgerald passes in the end zone, both by Dayan Ghanwoloku, but could only convert one into points. The Cougars struggled offensively, finishing with 176 total yards and only eight first downs.
Aeris Williams rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown for the Bulldogs, who had a season-high 35 first downs and averaged 6.5 yards.
"We knew he could become this back for us," Mullen said. "You could see it. He's grown up so much, not just in his runs, but in his blocking, his protections."
Fitzgerald threw for two touchdowns, and rushed for 103 yards and two scores of 14 and 15 yards.
"It's a good balance between the two of them," Mullen said. "Fitz makes you nervous because he's a bit of a home run threat when he can get to the outside. Then Aeries is better at hitting you between the tackles. It's a good combo."
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs played well enough against a struggling non-conference opponent to move past the sting of a long September. However, tougher tests loom.
Mississippi State returns to SEC play next Saturday, hosting Kentucky.