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Mississippi State vs. South Alabama: Five Takeaways

Mississippi State looked impressive in its 35-3 road victory in Mobile on Saturday. Here are five things we took away from the game.

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The offense is on its best streak in a long time

Sure, the competition hasn't been elite, but the Dogs have now put up over 500 yards of offense in four straight contests. That's an impressive accomplishment no matter who the opponent is. The offense was well balanced Saturday, racking up 288 yards on the ground and 226 through the air. Prescott finished the day with 139 rushing yards, his second game in a row over the century mark. I think that just farther proves how valuable Dak Prescott has been and will continue to be to this offense. Mississippi State likely doesn't even get close to 500 yards in any of those games without him on the field. That streak probably comes to an end this week in Tiger Stadium, but we would all be ecstatic if they put up around 350 yards of offense or better.

Preston Smith is the most underrated lineman in the country

The defensive end continues to be an absolute monster every Saturday. After being named SEC defensive lineman of the week in week one and week two, Smith had another excellent game against South Alabama. He finished the day with two sacks, a forced fumble, and blocked a field goal. Three games in, and Preston Smith already has two blocked field goals and two interceptions. Before the season started, most of us thought Chris Jones was the best player on this defensive line. For now at least, Preston Smith has proved to be the most dominant player. At this rate he will hear his name called in the first few rounds on draft day.

MSU is still getting off to a slow start

Outside of the first drives of the game against Southern Miss and UAB, and one drive against the Jaguars, the first quarter hasn't been nice to the Bulldogs. A lot of miscues by the offensive line and stalled drives have occurred. That can't happen against LSU. If State is going to pull off the upset against the Tigers, a strong start will be needed. They need to come out in the first quarter with more of a killer instinct and put together better drives. Even if they don't score, stringing together first downs and changing the field position will be key. With all of that being said, State has really started rolling offensively in the second quarter of games.

Is there anything Dak can't do?

Saturday marked the second time in the quarterback's career in which he passed, received, and ran for a touchdown in the same game. If he wants to be a dark horse for the Heisman like some have called him, those are the types of things he needs to do. It's all about getting noticed, and scoring three different ways in a game will certainly accomplish that. Maybe Mullen should let him attempt a field goal next time.

Time to put up or shut up

As soon as the South Alabama game came to an end, I along with many other State fans started thinking about next weeks game with LSU. This will be the game that defines the season. This will be the game that determines whether it will be a decent year or a great one. It will be the game that determines whether or not Mississippi State is a true contender in the SEC West. This is one of the most important games in Dan Mullen's career, and a top 10 win on the road would take a huge monkey off his back. Playing big time teams close will no longer make fans happy. Everyone is hungry for a big win, and this would be a huge one. With all the hype about this team, it's time to put up or shut up.