Backup QB Tyler Russell steps in as Mississippi State routs UAB

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Tyler Russell replaced an ineffective Chris Relf at quarterback and threw three touchdown passes to help Mississippi State beat Alabama-Birmingham 21-3 on Saturday.

Russell, who played in only two of the first five games this season, started the second half for the Bulldogs (3-3). On his second possession he led the Tigers on a seven-play, 89-yard touchdown drive, capped by an 18-yard pass to Marcus Green.

Russell connected with Chad Bumphis for a 57-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the fourth quarter, and then later hit Malcolm Johnson with a 20-yard scoring pass. Russell completed 11-of-13 passes for 166 yards.

Relf had 46 yards passing in the first half. The Bulldogs' only scoring threat in the half ended when Relf was sacked for an 11-yard loss, and then Derek Depasquale missed a 32-yard field-goal attempt.

The only points UAB (0-5) was able to score was on a 37-yard field goal by Ty Long late in the first half. The Blazers had several scoring chances throughout the game, but quarterback Jonathan Perry missed at least five open receivers for big gains, and UAB committed two turnovers in Mississippi State territory in the second half.

Perry was 18-for-36 passing for 195 yards and an interception. Pat Shed gained 73 yards rushing and 32 yards receiving.

Vick Ballard rushed for 101 yards on 19 carries for the Bulldogs. Bumphis had four receptions for 66 yards.