Louisiana Tech struck fear into every MSU fan in Davis Wade stadium after jumping out to a 14-0 lead. From there the Dogs went on a 45-6 run to put the game away and improve to 5-2.
Here were my takeaways.
Diaz stays true to form
Welp, if there's been a consistent theme to the season it's come from Manny Diaz's defense. LA Tech moved the ball with ease early in the game and put two quick touchdowns on the board. But like he seems to do every game, Diaz made the proper adjustments and his defense allowed just six points the rest of the way. That's a good offense MSU was facing and holding them to six points in that time period may be the best defensive effort of the season so far.
Give Tech credit. They were calling plays to get the ball out of Driskel's hands in a flash and it was working. They were also operating without their star running back and one of their receivers. Driskel is much improved since his days at Florida. It's easy to see Will Muschamp did not put that kid in a position to be successful.
Dak playing with emotion
As MSU fell down 14-0 and the camera hit the Bulldog sideline, you could see it written all over Dak Prescott's face. That man was on a mission, and he played like it the rest of the game. When he lowered the boom on that fourth down run, it was obvious nothing was going to stand in his way of leading his team to victory. I loved seeing the emotion from Dak and the clear disgust on his face after the inept start from the team.
Dak had a solid day stats wise, throwing for 347 yards and three TD's, and rushing for 34 yards and one TD. His performance led to several moves up the ranks for various career numbers. He moved into eighth place on the SEC all-time total touchdowns list. He also became the third QB in SEC history -- joining Tim Tebow and Johnny Manziel -- to pass for 50 touchdowns and rush for 30 touchdowns in a career. He passed Manziel for the most career rushing yards by an SEC quarterback, moving up to fourth.
Bear does the unusual
Dak's biggest target on Saturday was De'Runnya Wilson, who hauled in seven catches for 85 yards and a pair of scores. It was easily the best non-conference game Wilson has played in his time at MSU. He has been known for dominating against SEC teams and then disappearing in games such as this one. They need to continue to find ways to get him the ball every week. He's a mismatch for every defender in college football, and there's no reason he shouldn't be targeted by Dak around 10 times a game.
Special teams came to play
It's unfortunate that Malik Dear's kickoff return for a TD was called back on a penalty, but it set the stage for what was another solid day from the special teams unit. Brandon Bryant recovered a blocked punt that set up Dak Prescott for an easy touchdown run, Westin Graves remained perfect on field goals, and Logan Cooke was solid punting the ball and didn't have any shanks. Had Dear's return been upheld, it would have been the third kick or punt return touchdown from MSU this season. The special teams has taken a step up this season after being a liability every year under Mullen.
Still no solution at running back
Ashton Shumpert was out with an injury this week, and many fans hoped that would lead to an increase in carries for Aeris Williams and Dontavian Lee. But Mullen continued to plug Brandon Holloway in as a feature back which limited carries for the youngsters.
Williams finished with just six carries for 26 yards and a TD, and Lee finished with three carries for 21 yards. I really think one of those guys could pull ahead of the pack if they were given more opportunities. A non-conference game is the perfect opportunity for that to happen but Mullen likes the committee approach. I don't think that will change this late in the season so I wouldn't get your hopes up if you're still hoping he finds that feature back that can handle 15 to 20 carries a game.