By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – Dak Prescott got to play the role of starting quarterback on Sunday, and it didn’t go so well for him or the offense.
With most of the starters and other veterans sitting out, Mississippi State held a scrimmage inside the Palmeiro Center, giving younger players one last look before starting full prep for the Gator Bowl today.
The Gator Bowl matches the Bulldogs against Northwestern on New Year’s Day with a 11 a.m. kickoff.
The defense had a good day, recording four interceptions and six sacks during the 90-minute, 115-play session.
The offense scored only three touchdowns and a field goal.
Prescott, a redshirt freshman and backup to Tyler Russell, completed 11 of 24 passes for 103 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
“There were some struggles,” Prescott said. “I’ve got to make better ball placements on some throws and fix that. From the line of scrimmage, I think I handled it all right, but there’s improvement that can be done. I’ll just work on that and fix that going into spring.”
The Bulldogs’ offense had particular trouble on third downs and in the red zone. It took 10 drives before any points were scored; Prescott finally hit tight end Malcolm Johnson for a 4-yard TD.
Head coach Dan Mullen said he wants to see more consistency from Prescott in the passing game.
“That’s where he’s got to be good,” Mullen said. “He’s good running, and we don’t have any quarterback run in when we do this stuff right here, just force him to throw it. Did some nice things, but also has to be more consistent.”
Freshman linebacker Zach Jackson had two interceptions, while redshirt freshman defensive end John Harris had two sacks. Freshman safety Deontay Evans recorded seven tackles.
Receiver Jameon Lewis had five catches for 67 yards, and he was a go-to guy on third downs.
“Jameon made some nice plays, but you expect him to,” Mullen said. “When you do this, the guys that actually rotate and play a lot, they should stand out for you a little bit more out here on the field.”
Tailback Josh Robinson had 59 yards and a TD on 11 carries, plus a 30-yard catch.