By Logan Lowery
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Mississippi State’s 556 yards on Saturday were the most ever under Dan Mullen in a Southeastern Conference game.
In fact, the Bulldogs outgained No. 11 Texas A&M by 19 yards on the day.
But it simply would not be enough, as the Aggies claimed a 51-41 victory in front of the third-largest crowd in Kyle Field history (88,504).
“I bet coming into this game a lot of people wouldn’t say coming out of it Mississippi State would have more yards,” Mullen said. “But they found a way to get more points. They do a great job of improvising and get a lot of yards outside the framework of their offense. They did that again tonight and made a couple more big plays than we did.”
Johnny Manziel, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, had another record setting day for the Aggies. Manziel, playing in potentially his final home game, generated 493 total yards including 30 of 39 passes for 446 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions.
“What he brings to the table is just so hard to defend,” Mullen said. “He improvises outside the framework of their offense. At times I thought our defense played really well and we’d stop their offense but we didn’t stop him. We’d stop their offense and then all of a sudden, there he goes.”
Malcome Kennedy had eight catches for 96 yards and two touchdowns, Travis Labhart made six grabs for 102 yards and two scores and Mike Evans hauled in five balls for 116 yards helping A&M improve to 8-2 on the year and 4-2 in conference play.
After a five-turnover showing against South Carolina last week, MSU (4-5, 1-4) limited itself to just one and finished with one more first down than the Aggies. The Bulldogs churned out 299 yards on the ground.
Quarterback Dak Prescott, whose mother died last Sunday, came off the bench and accounted for 303 yards of offense and two touchdowns for State. Prescott connected on 14 of 26 passes for 149 yards, two scores and an interception while rushing for a career-high 154 yards on 16 carries.
Tyler Russell started under center for the Bulldogs, completing 8 of 14 passes for 77 yards and a touchdown.
Josh Robinson added a 51-yard first quarter touchdown run while LaDarius Perkins accounted for two scores (one rushing, one receiving) out of the backfield.
True freshman De’Runnya Wilson led Mississippi State with seven catches for 75 yards and two touchdowns.
“I learn something new every day,” Wilson said. “My hard work and determination have put me at a higher level. I’ve just tried to do the little things and the little things have taken care of the big things.”
Special teams were a letdown for the Bulldogs in several phases. Devon Bell had a punt blocked in the end zone for a safety and Evan Sobiesk had a 40-yard field goal blocked.
MSU was also were flagged for roughing the punter during the third quarter and surrendered a 97-yard kickoff return to Trey Williams in the fourth.