By Kedrick Storey
STARKVILLE – Head coach Dan Mullen said he planned to use the two-quarterback system for the remainder of the season, if both Tyler Russell, who started the season, and dependable backup Dak Prescott remained healthy.
Saturday night, he stuck to that. At least until after their first drive of the third quarter.
Russell started the game, and the second half.
Prescott, who led the Bulldogs on three drives in the first half – two he converted into scores – never saw the sideline again after Bowling Green pulled to within 21-20 with just over three minutes to play in the third quarter.
Mullen said earlier that the signal-caller of choice for the particular moment would be based on the situation. Mississippi State desperately needed a score, but with the offense struggling in part to missing six guys who had “started at some time during the season,” according to Mullen, they needed a clock-grinder with a possibility to score.
“I wanted to score,” said Mullen. “I wanted to put the ball in Dak’s hands. I thought he was playing pretty well and he was running it pretty well.”
Prescott, who netted 107 rushing yards in the first half, took over at the MSU 26, guiding them to within in field goal range. The drive stalled and Devon Bell’s 44-yard FG attempt clanked off an upright, but it burned up five game-clock minutes and gave the MSU defense a much-needed blow.
Bowling Green would convert two first downs, but the Bulldogs defense held on a 4th-and-2 at their on 40. The defense forced a second turnover on downs following Prescott-led drive that stalled at the Falcons eight yard-line, but ate up four minutes and 31 seconds.
They say if you have two quarterbacks you don’t have one at all but Mullen was more concerned with finishing, which they did to move to 3-3 ahead of six remaining SEC games
“We talked about finishing the game, and I tell you what the one thing we did tonight was finish the game,” he said.