After losing three straight games by 20 points or more, Mississippi State desperately needed a spark.
The Bulldogs got exactly that from quarterback Tyler Russell in their 45-14 win over Arkansas. Russell has been extremely efficient all year and the Russell we were so used to seeing before Mississippi State's three-game slide returned against the Razorbacks.
He was 19-of-32 passing for 274 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Russell led the Bulldogs on seven scoring drives against the Razorbacks, including six for touchdowns. He also broke Mississippi State's single-season record for completions (201), yards (2,523) and 200-yard passing games (seven) and extended his single-season record of 21 passing touchdowns.
Russell was cool and collected against the Hogs, delivering beauty after beauty to beat Arkansas' secondary. He threw some darts right through Arkansas defenders and into the hands of his receivers and put some passes perfectly on the money for touchdowns, including his 24-yard floater to LaDarius Perkins in the third quarter that made it 31-14 in favor of the Bulldogs.
Russell, who sometimes resembles a statue in the backfield, was even able to make some plays with his feet to create more time for himself in the pocket to find guys down field. He really did have arguably his best performance of the season in a game the Bulldogs desperately needed.
Russell continues to hold the lead in Mississippi State's single-season records for completion percentage (60.4) and passing yards per game 229.4).