Prescott accounts for 5 TDs in Mississippi State's rout of No. 6 A&M
Mississippi State has done its part to sustain the euphoria from arguably the biggest sports weekend in Mississippi history.
The No. 12 Bulldogs took a balanced approach to dispatching Texas A&M at home on Saturday, rolling for 559 total yards (270 rushing) and upending the No. 6 Aggies, 48-31.
''A Mississippi State-ment,'' Prescott said.
With Mississippi State taking on A&M and No. 11 Ole Miss hosting No. 3 Alabama, this marked the first time in Mississippi history that four top-12 teams were playing within the Magnolia State borders on the same day.
As if that weren't enough pressure, the Bulldogs were also assigned the two-way task of handling a surging A&M club that entered the day ranked second nationally in scoring (51.2 points per game) and 13th in scoring defense (15 ppg).
But Mississippi State was near-flawless on a picture-perfect weather day, giving up a first-quarter touchdown and then accounting for 48 of the next 58 points -- while posting double-digit scoring tallies for the first three quarters.
Bulldogs QB Dak Prescott, a realistic Heisman candidate, had his fingerprints all over Saturday's rout, accounting for 336 total yards (77 rushing) and five touchcdowns against the Aggies.
The senior connected with 10 different MSU receivers on this day, while engineering seven touchdown drives that included 47 plays but never consumed more than five minutes in duration.
Tailback Josh Robinson (118 total yards) got the ball rolling for MSU, notching two short-yardage touchdowns in the first quarter -- the latter giving the Bulldogs a lead they would never relinquish.
''They just beat us,'' said A&M QB Kenny Hill, who threw for 365 yards and four touchdowns but was picked off three times by linebacker Richie Brown, who matched a school record. ''They had a great game plan and just stomped us. Credit them.''
Texas A&M, which struggled in a comeback victory over Arkansas last week, was hardly running at peak capacity Saturday.
The offense had its moments, with Hill racking up more than 300 total yards and passing for four touchdowns.
However, by ESPN's count, the Aggies receivers dropped nine passes; and the vaunted O-line -- led by left tackle Cedric Ogbuehi, a potential top-5 pick in next year's NFL draft -- allowed five sacks and a sizable number of hurries to the Bulldogs.
Throw in three turnovers and a porous efficiency rate on third down (5 of 17), and it's easy to see how A&M was finally knocked from the dwinding perch of FCS unbeatens.
Mississippi State's friendly schedule was a popular subject at the SEC Media Days in July -- and not in a super-positive way.
With ridiculously easy non-conference matchups with Southern Miss, UAB, South Alabama and Tennessee-Martin and SEC East 'crossover' clashes with Kentucky and Vanderbilt, the Bulldogs (5-0, 2-0 in SEC) essentially have to be emotionally ready for only five games all season. (Sorry, Arkansas.)
Well, with LSU and Texas A&M already in the books as victories, Mississippi State must quickly bounce back against No. 5 Auburn next Saturday -- another home game for the Davis Wade faithful.
And if the Bulldogs can pull off a so-called upset of Auburn, they'll be perfectly positioned for an eminently doable run at the SEC West title -- even if they should split the remaining killer matchups with No. 3 Alabama (Nov. 15) and Ole Miss (Nov. 29).
Bottom line: With six SEC West teams currently ranked in the Associated Press top 15, it's hard to imagine the eventual division champ surviving the full conference slate with a perfect record.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.