The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
Starkville, MS

MSU remains unbeaten with win over UT Martin

2836 days ago
Associated Press

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Dak Prescott threw for two touchdowns and ran for another score, leading No. 1 Mississippi State to a 45-16 victory over Tennessee-Martin on Saturday.

The Bulldogs (9-0, No. 1 AP) extended their winning streak to 12 games, jumping ahead 24-3 by halftime. Prescott completed 14 of 23 passes for 206 yards. It was his school-record ninth 200-yard passing game of the season.

Mississippi State's Brandon Holloway ran for a 35-yard touchdown and Ashton Shumpert added a 59-yard touchdown run as the Bulldogs amassed 254 yards on the ground.

UT Martin (5-6) closed to 7-3 on Jackson Redditt's 33-yard field goal late in the first quarter, but failed to make any consistent progress against Mississippi State's defense.

The Skyhawks' Jarod Neal threw for a 31-yard touchdown and also ran for a 1-yard score.

Mississippi State led 38-3 in the fourth quarter before Tennessee-Martin -- which plays at the FCS level -- scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns against the Bulldogs' backup defense.

Maybe the most important play of the night was when Prescott stepped up in the pocket and then pulled the ball down, accelerating through the left side of the line and darting down the sideline for an easy 48-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter.

After a few weeks of battling a left ankle injury, it provided some tangible proof that the centerpiece of the Bulldogs' offense is reasonably healthy as the program makes a final push for its first Southeastern Conference title since 1941.

Mississippi State had one late turnover on Saturday. That was a welcome change for the Bulldogs compared to the previous three games, which were marred by a combined eight turnovers.

Now the Bulldogs can prepare for their final stretch of SEC competition, which begins with a crucial game at Alabama on Nov. 15. They also host Vanderbilt and travel to face Mississippi in the Egg Bowl.

Prescott had been inconsistent over the past three weeks, completing just 57.4 percent of his passes for three touchdowns and five interceptions against Auburn, Kentucky and Arkansas.

But he avoided mistakes against the Skyhawks, finding Fred Brown for a 10-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and Joe Morrow on a 55-yard touchdown in the third.

Josh Robinson, who was second in the SEC in rushing coming into the game, carried the ball just six times for 33 yards in limited action.

UT Martin's Abou Toure finished with 94 yards rushing on 19 carries.

Dylan Favre, the nephew of former NFL star Brett Favre, completed 8 of 16 passes for 57 yards for the Skyhawks. He played for Mississippi State in 2010 and 2011.

Neal was 14-of-27 passing for 159 yards.