STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State (5-2) downed Louisiana Tech (4-3) 45-20 as part of Homecoming on Saturday at Davis Wade Stadium. After a slow start following the 11 a.m. kickoff, MSU rallied from a 14-0 deficit in the first quarter to out-score Tech 45-6 over the rest of the game.
“We started slow,” Mullen said after the game. “After the 3:51 mark of the first quarter, absolutely it was our most complete game.”
Quarterback Dak Prescott had a huge game, scoring four total touchdowns and moving into seventh place all-time in SEC history with 87 career touchdowns responsible for.
Prescott finished the day 30-of-43 passing for 347 yards (second-most of his career) and three touchdowns, while also rushing for 34 yards and one score. He joined Tim Tebow of Florida and Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M as the only quarterbacks in SEC history to total 50 career passing touchdowns and 30 career rushing touchdowns.
It was his passion, Mullen said, that sparked MSU’s 45-6 run over the last three quarters and change. After Tech scored its second touchdown, Mullen said he saw an anger in Prescott he doesn’t usually see in the typically-calm quarterback.
“I don’t know if you wanted to get in front of him at that point,” Mullen said.
Receiver De’Runnya Wilson was a big part of Prescott’s day, hauling in seven passes for 85 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, while MSU only recorded two sacks, the front seven harassed Tech quarterback Jeff Driskel throughout the afternoon, forcing him into quick throws as he finished with over 300 passing yards of his own.
The highlight on defense came when freshman safety Brandon Bryant picked off Driskel (Bryant’s first career interception) in the fourth quarter and returned it 73 yards for a touchdown to cap scoring for MSU on the day.
“I think that’s really good defense,” Mullen said. “I think those young guys are stepping up and that’s what we need to do as a program.”
State also had one of its better days on special teams with several plays contributing to the victory, including a blocked punt by Donald Gray to set up a Bulldog touchdown near the end of the first half.
With the win, MSU finished the non-conference portion of its schedule undefeated and has five-straight SEC games to finish the season.
“The ultimate goal is to go 4-0,” Mullen said of the non-conference schedule, “and we accomplished that.”
Mississippi State returns to SEC action by hosting Kentucky (4-2) next Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CT on the SEC Network.
Driskel completed 25 of 41 for 303 yards and two touchdowns and one interception.
Jarred Craft, a teammate of Prescott’s at Haughton, got off to a good start like the rest of the Bulldogs. He rushed for 40 yards on 14 carries and caught five passes for 56 yards.
Star running back Kenneth Dixon did not play for the second straight week because of an injury.
Former Evangel star Trent Taylor had another big game, catching 10 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown on a terrific diving catch in the end zone.
Louisiana Tech returns to action next Saturday, Oct. 24, when the Bulldogs host Middle Tennessee at 2:30 p.m. CT at Joe Aillet Stadium.
— Mississippi State Sports Information and Louisiana Tech Sports Information