MSU Notebook: Prescott steps up in place of Russell

Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott (15) runs past Alcorn State defenders on his way to an 11-yard touchdown in the first quarter of their NCAA college football game at Davis Wade Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, in Starkville, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott (15) runs past Alcorn State defenders on his way to an 11-yard touchdown in the first quarter of their NCAA college football game at Davis Wade Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, in Starkville, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

BY LOGAN LOWERY
DAILY JOURNAL

STARKVILLE – Dak Prescott passed his first test as Mississippi State’s starting quarterback with flying colors.

The sophomore completed 12-of-19 passing for 174 yards two touchdowns and an 11-yard rushing touchdown in place of Tyler Russell, who did not dress in Saturday’s 51-7 win over Alcorn State due to a concussion suffered in last week’s loss to Oklahoma State.

Prescott did all that and only played in the first half.

“It was all about the team,” Prescott said. “We did a good job up front, the running backs did well and the receivers did well. We performed well enough in that one half to get the job done.”

The Bulldogs netted 308 yards in the opening half and moved the chains 17 times under Prescott’s direction.

“I thought Dak came out and played well and did a good job in the first half,” said MSU coach Dan Mullen.

“He made some good reads, managed the offense well, made plays when we needed him to make them and I’m proud of that.”

Prescott’s backup, true freshman Damian Williams, played the majority of the second half hitting on 8-of-13 passing for 105 yards and an interception.

Mullen did not have a time frame on Russell or junior linebacker Ferlando Bohanna’s return from concussions.

“They were doing a whole lot better at the end of the week than they were at the beginning of the week,” Mullen said. “You’re hoping by next week they’ll be ready to go.”

Seven new starters
MSU began Saturday’s game with seven first time starters against Alcorn State.

Prescott earned his first start behind center while sophomore Josh Robinson began the game in the backfield for the injured LaDarius Perkins.

Junior Dee Arrington started at free safety with sophomore Kendrick Market gaining his first start alongside in the secondary. Junior Ben Beckwith got the nod at right guard while redshirt freshman Cedric Jiles started at cornerback and true freshman Chris Jones (Houston) started at defensive tackle.

“I did pretty well,” Jones said. “I had a couple mistakes where I stood up and got too high but it’s stuff that can be fixed. I’ll watch film and study what I did wrong and try to be better at it the next game.”

A total of seven true freshmen saw action in the game with Williams, running back Ashton Shumpert (Fulton) and cornerback Tolando Cleveland getting their first action.

Malone out
Mullen announced following the game that sophomore right guard Justin Malone will miss the remainder of the season.

Malone went down during the fourth quarter of last week’s game against Oklahoma State suffering a Lisfranc injury to his left foot.

The 6-foot-7, 320-pounder joins safety Jay Hughes (Achilles) on the list of Bulldogs that suffered season-ending injuries in the opening week.

logan.lowery@journalinc.com