Tyler Russell and Chad Bumphis hooked up on touchdown passes of 72, 58 and 25 yards to help lead Mississippi State to a 30-24 victory over Troy on Saturday night.
The Bulldogs (3-0) finished their scoring with Bumphis's 25-yarder at the back of the end zone on fourth-and-4 with 7:00 left. That proved enough in the latest Sun Belt scare against a Southeastern Conference team.
The Trojans (1-2) stayed within striking distance with Will Scott's 40-yard field goal three minutes later in Troy's first time hosting an SEC team. LaDarius Perkins, who gained 179 yards on 23 carries, helped the Bulldogs run out the clock.
Bumphis became the first Mississippi State player to catch three touchdown passes since Sammy Milner did it against Florida in 1969. He had six catches for a career-high 180 yards.
Mississippi State is off to its first 3-0 start since 1999.