September 11, 2013

Prescott Gets the Job Done in Debut

Last week, MSU saw a quarterback not named Tyler Russell for the first time since their 2011 Music City Bowl win against Wake Forest when Chris Relf made his final start. Dak Prescott took all of the snaps in the first half and put up career highs in passes (19), completions (12), yards (174) and touchdowns (2) nearly passing the numbers he put up during his freshman year as a backup. Known as a runner, he admits it was nice to show people that he has an arm too.

"Everybody's going to have something to say and say there's something I can't do," Prescott said. "I don't really pay attention when somebody says I can't throw or I'm not fast enough, there's always going to be something. It's nice to have those stats and get them down."

The dual-threat qb was ready for the challenge and it showed throughout the first half as the Bulldogs poured on 37 points while he was in there. Entering week three, Russell should be back but Dan Mullen and his coaches and players all have confidence if Prescott gets the call again this year.

"I feel comfortable with Dak (Prescott) and I think our team is very comfortable with him," Mullen said. "It's just the leadership role that he has. You don't prepare a starting quarterback to be a backup, you prepare starting quarterbacks. Dak prepares to be the starter and we prepare to be the starter, we have since last year when we were doing the same thing. One thing you don't want is the team not having confidence in the guy coming into the game and you're one step away from that happening. I think Dak really came on and took that approach and really did a good job of preparing himself to become the starting quarterback. In his leadership and the way that he does things, the team kind of feels the same way that he's ready to be the starting quarterback. It's not a big deal for us."

Prescott certainly didn't look like a backup out there on Saturday and the players always seem to rally around the sophomore who has a passionate approach on the field. He was pleased with the all-around effort from his team.

"It was all about the team. We did a good job up front, the running backs did well and the receivers did well," Prescott said of his first start. "We performed well enough in one half to get the job done. Everything was good; it was just comfortable out there."

MSU put up its ninth-highest output in yards in the school's history balancing 556 yards with 277 on the ground and 279 through the air. Prescott knows what the team is capable of, but it was good for the fans to see that production is still there after MSU managed just three points and 333 yards against Oklahoma State.

"It was very important. We just got a rhythm and everybody went out there and did a good job," Prescott said about bouncing back. "It was just good to get going as an offense and score some points."

At times early, it appeared the Bulldog offense might have a similar day offensively with a couple of drives that netted little. Mullen took Prescott aside and got his head back in the game and the Bulldogs preceded to score three more touchdowns before the end of the half.

"Those first two drives, defense gave us great field position and they weren't difficult to convert. When we started getting long field position we kind of got into a slump, but everybody calmed down and we did what we can do and we got back on track."

A few true freshmen got to get in the mix for the Bulldogs and Prescott got a chance to lead them around the field. It translated into six catches for 91 yards combined by De'Runnya Wilson, Fred Ross and running back Ashton Shumpert. The big start from the youngsters is from hard work, Prescott said.

"That's from coming in and getting conditioned in camp. Those guys have just been coming in and going hard non-stop," Prescott said of the freshmen. "They got a chance to get it going in a game and it all paid off. That's just something they do every day and it was time for them to be rewarded."

Now that the first start is under his belt, offensive coordinator Les Koenning is able to see what his future quarterback has in his arsenal a little more. He liked what he saw.

"I thought he did really well. The first pass he threw, it was a bubble screen, was impressive. I thought it might go in the bleachers he was so jacked up. It was a little high, but it was okay," Koenning said of his sophomore quarterback. "He was amped up when he came in there. He's a tremendous leader and he does a lot of really good things. He's a good guy that just comes to play and knows the system and what we expect. I really like the way he leads the team on the field."

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