Mississippi St ready for challenge after break

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STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said his team enjoyed a week away from football and got some much needed rest.

The Bulldogs weren't too tired, though. Most of September had already been a vacation.

No. 19 Mississippi State has had an extended break from league play since beating Auburn on Sept. 8. The Bulldogs have won two nonconference games and taken their off week in the interim, but are eager to get back to league play against Kentucky on Saturday

Mississippi State has room for improvement, even though it's undefeated through September for the first time since 1999.

Kentucky is without quarterback Maxwell Smith after the sophomore suffered an ankle injury against South Carolina. Coach Joker Phillips says he'll rotate freshmen Jalen Whitlow and Patrick Towles against the Bulldogs.

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