The Bulldogs found themselves in a bit of a tight game going into the half, but when the final whistle blew, Mississippi State had handled the Missouri Tigers, and in the process, Dak Prescott solidified some prolific career numbers in the 31-13 victory in Columbia.
The win moves Mississippi State to 7-2, and it keeps the Bulldogs in the hunt for the SEC West title. However, the story tonight revolved around Dak Prescott. During the contest, Prescott became just the tenth SEC quarterback to throw for over 10,000 yards. Later in the game, he picked up his 100th touchdown, becoming just the sixth player to reach that threshold. That put him in company with players such as Tim Tebow, Peyton Manning, Chris Leak and others. Perhaps just as impressive as that company is the fact that Prescott accomplished this in what barely amounts to two seasons' worth of starts.
Folks, there may not be a more special player come through Starkville in some time. We have three more games, plus a bowl game to enjoy the Dak Attack (hey, let's pull for an improbable SEC Championship and make it five). Make sure you enjoy it, because we will miss him when he leaves.
Speak of special, Fred Ross and De'Runnya Wilson proved to be special yet again in this contest. Fred Ross kept hauling in reception after reception to go over double digits in that department tonight. Bear Wilson and Prescott hooked up for two touchdowns to become the most prolific QB-WR scoring tandem in Mississippi State history. While we all talk about Prescott's ability, let's not forget how much his ability to connect with these two receivers has played a large role in his success. Their stories will all be intertwined one day.
As far as the game itself, it would be easy to be disappointed with the defense for its early play. Missouri had gone 33 days without a touchdown, and as many of us expected, the Tigers ended up with one tonight. However, to focus on that one drive, which was bad, would be to miss the point. Again, Manny Diaz and company shut a team down in the second half. Along the line, Chris Jones looked like we all expected him to look like day in and day out. The Bulldogs snagged the easy pick this time, as they should have done against Texas A&M, and all in all, they hounded Drew Lock most of the night. If you want to nitpick, nitpick the touchdown drive. Missouri could only run the ball, and Mississippi State only had six in the box most of the drive.
However, the goal line stand in the fourth quarter was pretty awesome. After Missouri committed a penalty for an illegal formation, Richie Brown got after the quarterback for another sack. Another penalty put Missouri in more trouble, and after Kivon Coman did a great job breaking up a pass in the end zone, the Bulldogs escaped with their no fourth quarter touchdown streak intact.
For those who watched the game until the end, I absolutely loved Jessie Palmer's description of Richie Brown. While mentioning that he was going to play on Sundays, Palmer said that Brown is not the type of player that will set records at the combine, but he is just a smart, talented football player. It's hard to argue with that description.
One fair frustration again is the lack of a running game for Mississippi State. Outside of Prescott, the Bulldogs cannot consistently move the ball on the ground. If there is one thing that should scare fans of the Maroon and White going forward, that is it. Can Mississippi State play nearly one dimensional and beat teams such as Alabama? We could find out Saturday when the LSU Tigers and Crimson Tide meet.
Let's sit back, enjoy this win and enjoy the weekend. We are only a week and a half away from one of the biggest games in Mississippi State history.