MSU NOTEBOOK: ‘Amazing’ effort for Prescott

Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott rushes for a first down against Texas A&M during the third quarter. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott rushes for a first down against Texas A&M during the third quarter. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

By Logan Lowery

Daily Journal

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Dak Prescott lost his mother, Peggy, to colon cancer six days prior to Saturday’s game.

The Mississippi State sophomore quarterback missed two key days of practice early in the week while at home in Louisiana grieving which is partially why coach Dan Mullen opted to return to senior Tyler Russell as the Bulldogs starter.

Prescott made his return on the third series and began all five of MSU’s scoring drives behind center on the day.

“To go through what he had to go through and to come out and perform, I’m just proud of him,” Mullen said. “Dak’s not just a football player, he’s an amazing young man. He’s a man that most parents would be proud of if they grew up to be that way.”

Prescott finished with 303 yards of offense and two touchdowns. He connected on 14 of 26 passes for 149 yards, two touchdowns and one interception and rushed 16 times for a career-high 154 yards.

Familiar faces

Texas A&M and Mississippi State shared Emory Bellard and Jackie Sherrill as head coaches. Bellard coached the Aggies from 1972-78 and the Bulldogs from 1979-85. Sherrill coached in College Station from 1982-88 and in Starkville from 1991-2003.

Les Koenning has had two stints as an assistant coach at both schools. Koenning coached wide receivers at Texas A&M from 1994-96 and served as offensive coordinator from 2003-07. He was a running backs/ receivers coach for the Bulldogs from 1986-89 and has been the offensive coordinator since 2009.

Key drive

Mississippi State scored with 54-seconds remaining before halftime to pull within 16-14. But the Aggies added a touchdown 38-seconds later after a four-play, 75-yard drive to take a 23-14 lead into the locker room.

Key number – 19

MSU outgained the Aggies by 19 yards offensively on the day. The Bulldogs rolled up 556 yards while A&M finished with 537 yards, 46 below its average.

Quotable

“I wanted to take a little pressure off of him, let the game get going and let him catch his breath a little bit.” – Dan Mullen, on why he decided not to start quarterback Dak Prescott

Next weekend

State hosts its twin state rival Alabama in the battle of Highway 82. Kickoff will either be at either 6 p.m. on ESPN2 or 6:45 p.m. on ESPN and will be confirmed later today.

Bulldog bites

Linebacker and leading tackler Deontae Skinner missed Saturday’s game with a sprained neck. …LaDarius Perkins had his first multi-touchdown game of the year and first since Arkansas last season. …Jameon Lewis threw his third touchdown of the year. …Joe Morrow caught his first career touchdown…Aberdeen’s Jamerson Love intercepted two passes. …Tupelo’s P.J. Jones recorded his first career sack. …Benardrick McKinney was tied for the team lead with six tackles and had 1.5 sacks.