Mississippi State Bulldog sophomore quarterback Dak Prescott led the offense with 233 yards passing, 53 yards rushing, and 36 yards receiving. Dak accounted for four total touchdowns as the Bulldogs rolled to victory. Mississippi State took the field against the Troy Trojans in front of another sell-out crowd of 55,096 at Davis-Wade Stadium.
The recent offensive struggles were not present as the offense finished with 551 total yards on the night. Prescott and Jameon Lewis both recorded a cycle for Mississippi State: passing, rushing, and receiving a touchdown in the same game. How rare is this feat one may wonder? In the past 53 years no Bulldog has pulled off a cycle, and Prescott and Lewis both accomplished it in the same game. Lewis finished the game with 96 yards receiving, 36 yards passing, and 15 yards rushing. The call for more creative play calling came early in the second quarter when Lewis caught a lateral screen pass from Prescott, only to fake a pass down the field and sling the ball right back to Dak who was escorted by a wall of linemen on his way to his first ever receiving touchdown. Dak would connect with 10 different receivers throughout the game, as he showed impressive command of the offense.
For the first time since senior punter Baker Swedenburg walked onto to campus, the Mississippi State Bulldogs did not attempt a punt all game. Coach Mullen after the game:
"I tell Baker every game that the best game is when you do not see the field at all."
Despite the overwhelming success, the offense did sputter early with only three points and 66 total yards in the first quarter. State would flip a switch though, and would finish the first half with 349 yards and a score of 45 heading into the half. That was the highest first half total by any State team in the modern era; the second highest of all time. The overwhelming plea from Mullen the past three weeks has been for his team to finish. The Bulldogs finally delivered on their coach's demands by going 8-12 on third downs -- one of the weaknesses for the offense this season -- and scoring on every drive but two throughout the entire game.
The defense delivered an outstanding performance as well against Troy. Troy's quarterback, Corey Robinson, came into the game leading the country in passing. Coach Mullen on Robinson:
"He can get into a rhythm and I don't care who it is against, he is going to tear you up."
State's defense would hold Robinson to a total of 105 yards passing for the entire game: the lowest output for his entire career. A beat up secondary answered the called with a great effort all around. Jamerson Love has been hampered by a nagging injury for most of the season, but looked to return to form today by breaking up a good many passes and scoring the first touchdown of the game with 70 yard interception return. Troy fumbled in the red zone the very next possession, resulting in three more points for the Bulldogs. Troy finished the game going 3-13 on third downs. Missed tackles in the open field have also plagued the Bulldogs all season, but after some key adjustments made by the defensive staff the defense locked down the Trojans. The defense in the first quarter allowed 133 yards and a touchdown. Troy only managed 53 yards and no more points for the remainder of the game.
After the rough ending to the game last week, the Bulldogs responded in a resounding and relentless effort. The young State squad should continue to grow this season, and a game like this came at the perfect time to lick some wounds and heal some player's injuries.
The Bulldogs do not play next weekend. They will take the field again October 5th in Davis-Wade Stadium against the LSU Tigers.