After each win, Logan Lowery of the Daily Journal recognizes several players and a coach that had outstanding performances and played a major role in Mississippi State’s victory. Check out who his offensive, defensive, special teams and coach of the week were.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Quarterback Dak Prescott
Junior * 6-2 * 230 * Haughton, La.
Passing: 13 of 21 for 201 yards, one touchdown Rushing: 14 carries for 139 yards, one touchdown Receiving: one catch for 24 yard, one touchdown
Logan’s take: Dak Prescott made the most of not having to alternate series at quarterback and led all five of the Bulldogs scoring drives on Saturday. He once again proved his versatility by throwing, rushing and catching a touchdown in the same game for the second time in his career. I thought Prescott made strategic runs when he needed to. He is still staring down his intended receiver too long and had defensive backs jump the route for a pass break-up.
Linebacker Matthew Wells
Senior * 6-2 * 220 * Monticello, Miss.
Defense: five tackles (three solo, two assists), 1.5 tackles for loss, 0.5 sack, two pass deflections
Logan’s take: I thought Matthew Wells played the best game of his career Saturday even though he had to miss some time with an injury. He was tied for the team lead in tackles and nearly had two interceptions to go along with it. Wells gets overshadowed on defense sometimes but has incredible speed and athleticism from his days as a high school running back.
Defensive end Preston Smith
Senior * 6-6* 270 * Stone Mountain, Ga.
Defense: two solo tackles, two tackles for loss, two sacks, one forced fumble Special teams: one blocked field goal
Logan’s take: Preston Smith sure made his case to be the Southeastern Conference’s Defensive Lineman of the Week for a third straight week. Smith had a heck of a game defensively once again and also blocked his NCAA-leading second field goal. He had a career-high two sacks continuing his streak of strong play. Smith’s last four performances have been the best play by a Bulldogs defensive end as I’ve seen in a decade.
Punt returner Jamoral Graham
True freshman * 5-10 * 170 * Decatur, Miss.
Receiving: one catch for minus-1 yard Punt returns: two returns for 12 yards, three fair catches
Logan’s take: For the second straight week, Jamoral Graham handled the Bulldogs punt return duties and looked like a natural. Usually having a true freshman in that position would be a nail-biter but “Smokey” is so smooth back there. He still dances a little more than my liking but is an upgrade over Jameon Lewis and Chad Bumphis in that regard. Graham caught a punt on the run Saturday and had a chance to break it if he kept running full speed but slowed up and was tackled.
Logan’s take: David Turner’s defensive line has been dominant all season and are allowing just 80.3 yards on the ground. Against South Alabama, the Bulldogs had 10 tackles for loss – four of which were sacks made by the defensive line. In addition to Smith’s two sacks, Nelson Adams and Chris Jones also had sacks as well. Turner wanted to increase the pressure on the quarterback this year and it appears that plan is comfortably in place.