By David Brandt
AP Sports Writer
STARKVILLE — Dak Prescott threw for 233 yards and a touchdown, rushed for 53 yards and two touchdowns and caught a 36-yard touchdown pass to lead Mississippi State over Troy 62-7 on Saturday night.
Prescott’s diverse and efficient performance was matched by Jameon Lewis, who caught a 50-yard touchdown pass, rushed for an 8-yard touchdown and threw the 36-yard touchdown that Prescott caught on a trick play.
Prescott was starting just his third career game. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound sophomore completed 13 of 21 passes.
Mississippi State (2-2) led 10-7 after the first quarter, but erupted for 35 points in the second quarter to take a 45-7 halftime lead.
Troy (2-2) never recovered from the brutal second quarter. Corey Robinson, who is the NCAA’s active leader in career passing yards, completed 15 of 25 passes for just 105 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
It was the most points Mississippi State has scored in a game since 1994. The Bulldogs finished with 551 total yards.
Besides Prescott and Lewis, Mississippi State didn’t have many players with big individual numbers. That’s because just about any Bulldog who touched the ball produced. Ten players caught a pass and nine had at least one rushing attempt.
The exclamation point on the night came early in the second quarter, when Prescott threw a lateral to Lewis, who took off to run before throwing the ball back across the field to Prescott. The quarterback had a convoy of blockers and cruised 36 yards to the end zone to give the Bulldogs a 17-7 lead.
The Troy-Mississippi State series has traditionally been close, with the Trojans even earning one of the biggest wins in school history against the Bulldogs in 2001.
But this one turned ugly by halftime.
The highlight of the Trojans’ night came when Robinson hit Eric Thomas on a 5-yard touchdown pass, which cut Mississippi State’s lead to 10-7 with six seconds remaining in the first quarter.
But the Bulldogs responded with five touchdowns in the second quarter, overwhelming Troy with an avalanche of big plays. Prescott rushed for touchdowns of 22 and 11 yards during the rally and Mississippi had 349 total yards by halftime.
It was a welcome breakout for Mississippi State’s offense, which ranked 13th out of 14 SEC teams in scoring coming into the night.
Prescott started the season as Tyler Russell’s backup, but Russell suffered a concussion in the season opener against Oklahoma State and hasn’t played since.
An MSU spokesman said Russell was cleared for contact on Thursday, but Prescott started against Troy anyway, and the way he’s playing it’s hard to see him losing the starting job any time soon.
Mullen came to Mississippi State five years ago after being the offensive coordinator at Florida during most of the Tim Tebow era, and Prescott’s skill set is similar.
He’s always been a good runner for the Bulldogs, but has lately shown good touch in the passing game. Now the Bulldogs get a week off before facing LSU in Starkville on Oct. 5.