Russell returns but Prescott starts for Bulldogs

Lauren Wood | Daily Journal Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott runs the ball 28 yards for a touchdown in the first half of Saturday's game against LSU in Starkville.

Lauren Wood | Daily Journal
Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott runs the ball 28 yards for a touchdown in the first half of Saturday’s game against LSU in Starkville.

By Logan Lowery

Daily Journal

STARKVILLE – For a full two weeks, Dan Mullen declared that Tyler Russell was Mississippi State’s starting quarterback.

Then the announcement came that the Bulldogs would not name a starter until the start of Saturday’s game against LSU. Even the pregame video introductions kept the suspense when no quarterback was mentioned.

However, sophomore Dak Prescott would get the nod in his fourth straight start for MSU. Prescott orchestrated two scoring drives during the first quarter. Russell would enter the game at the start of the second.

“As the week went on in practice that became the plan,” Mullen said. “We always have a plan and a lot of it is determined by what happens at practice. The plan was to play both of them.”

Russell was sacked on his first play in 35 days but would lead the Bulldogs on an eight play, 75-yard drive. He threaded a 20-yard touchdown to Jameon Lewis to pull with five points.

Russell’s second drive gave him the school’s all-time passing record with 39 touchdown throws passing Derrick Taite. He tossed a 59-yard strike to De’Runnya Wilson to give State it’s only lead at 23-21.

The two quarterbacks traded drives in the second quarter and Prescott played the entire third quarter leading the Bulldogs to only a field goal. He was picked off on the first possession of the fourth quarter by Tre’Davious White to set up an LSU touchdown that put a dagger in the home hopes of an upset.

Prescott led the Bulldogs with 12 carries for 103 yards and a touchdown and also hit on 9 of 20 passing for 106 yards and an interception. Russell connected on 7 of 11 passing for 146 yards and two touchdowns and also fumbled.

“It’s always a good feeling having two starting quarterbacks,” Mullen said. “I thought they made some good plays and some good checks. They made things happen for us and that’s what you want.”

logan.lowery@journalinc.com