AUBURN, Ala. — Dak Prescott is used to carrying the offensive load for Mississippi State, but it was taken to another level Saturday night.
The senior quarterback completed 29 of 41 passes for 270 yards and two touchdowns as the Bulldogs took a 17-9 victory over Auburn on the road.
The Bulldogs only managed 56 yards on the ground, so coach Dan Mullen called Prescott’s number early and often.
“We’ve got a quarterback that can get to the ball where he needs to get it to, we’ve got great matchups with wide receivers outside on the perimeter, and when I’m calling plays, we’re just trying to take advantage of what defenses are giving you,” Mullen said.
Prescott, who has passed for more than 35 times three times this season, has passed the ball more this season than he did last year and that has been more out of necessity and a little his own call. Prescott has gone through his progressions more, but in the first three games of the season, the Bulldogs were in passing situations for the most part.
Prescott only rushed for 14 yards against the Tigers, but his passing game was on point.
“That’s something I worked on all offseason, my passing game, just being able to do that in case this happened,” Prescott said.
In four career games against the Tigers, Prescott has 1,001 total yards. He has started three times against Auburn.
The Haughton, Louisiana, native completed 16 of 20 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns in the first half as the Bulldogs enjoyed a 14-0 lead. He hit Gabe Myles for a 32-yard touchdown on MSU’s first drive to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead. Prescott found De’Runnya Wilson for a 17-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter to stretch the lead to two touchdowns.
Prescott made a check at the line of scrimmage before the touchdown pass to Myles, and he hit him in stride as the Starkville native blew past the secondary and raced into the end zone.
The safeties came down to cover the tight end and that was something Prescott saw on film, so he made the check.
“Throughout the week, things we prepared, certain situations that we wanted certain looks for and when they gave them to us, it was my job to get in the right spot,” Prescott said.
With the two touchdowns, Prescott is now 14th in Southeastern Conference history with 81 touchdowns responsible for. He passed former Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron.
Myles, who scored his first touchdown last week, now has three touchdowns (two receiving and one rushing) this season. He finished the game with two catches for 37 yards.
He hit eight different receivers. Junior wideout Fred Ross led the way with seven catches for 66 yards. Wilson had five catches for 43 yards and the one touchdown. Senior tight end Gus Walley had five catches for 22 yards, while junior wide receiver Fred Brown had four catches for 58 yards.
“I was just taking what they were giving me,” Prescott said. “They were giving me those short throws and I was taking them, letting the guys run and do something after the catch.”
Prescott now has 1,069 passing yards and 7 touchdowns this season. In the first four games last season, Prescott had 964 yards through the air and 11 touchdowns.
Prescott has yet to throw an interception this season and has gone 191 pass attempts, the longest active streak in the Southeastern Conference and sixth-longest streak in SEC history, without one dating back to last season. That streak stretches 17 quarters.
Prescott rarely had pressure in his face, as the offensive line blocked well and he was never sacked.
“They’re coming along,” Mullen said. “I think they handled all the pressures that were coming, really well.”
Follow Dispatch sports writer Ben Wait on Twitter @bcwait
Ben Wait reports on Mississippi State University sports for The Dispatch.