REWIND: MSU 51, Alcorn State 7

Mississippi State running back Ashton Shumpert runs the ball past Alcorn State safety Anthony Williams during Saturday's game in Starkville. MSU defeated Alcorn 51-7. (Lauren Wood)

Mississippi State running back Ashton Shumpert runs the ball past Alcorn State safety Anthony Williams during Saturday’s game in Starkville. MSU defeated Alcorn 51-7. (Lauren Wood)

THUMBS UP
After being held out of the end zone in Week 1, Mississippi State scored seven touchdowns – five in the first half.

Despite missing seven ailing starters, including quarterback Tyler Russell and running back LaDarius Perkins, the Bulldogs generated 556 yards of offense (279 passing, 277 rushing) and limited Alcorn State to only 30 yards in the first half and 163 for the game.

THUMBS DOWN
Redshirt freshman wide receiver Fred Brown had a memorable debut but not necessarily in a good way. Brown, who missed the opener with a wrist injury, was flagged for a pair of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and was ejected early in the fourth quarter.

Brown finished with two catches for 27 yards and was responsible for two of MSU’s three penalties on the day.

Keys To Victory
(Updating the game keys from last week’s GameDay preview)
1. Keep Dak healthy
Dak Prescott was not sacked and only carried four times for 20 yards and a touchdown in his first career start. The sophomore only played in the first half before turning things over to true freshman Damian Robinson and walk-on Sam Cowart for the remainder of the game.

2. Convert third downs
The Bulldogs continued their struggles. After going just 2-of-16 on third down in their opening loss to Oklahoma State, MSU converted 5-of-13 on third down against the Braves.
However, the Bulldogs are 5-of-10 on fourth down conversions this year.

3. Gain experience
MSU emptied the benches during the game and held most of its starters out the entire second half. 25 freshmen saw the field including six true freshmen.
The Bulldogs also had seven first time starters.

MVP
QB Dak Prescott: Although Prescott only played two quarters, he accounted for three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) in his first career start. He connected on 12-of-19 passing for 174 yards, both of which were career-highs.
Prescott’s 10-yard first quarter touchdown run was his fifth career rushing score and was the first touchdown of the 2013 campaign for the Bulldogs.

BOTTOM LINE
Even without seven starters in the lineup, Mississippi State did what it needed to against an FCS opponent building a 37-0 halftime lead. A total of 70 players saw action in the game with eight players in the rushing column, 13 recording catches and 26 notching a tackle.

Logan Lowery