As good as Dak Prescott was last year – and he was pretty darn good – he’s been even better in 2015. The Mississippi State quarterback has completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 2,351 yards, 18 touchdowns and just one interception. He also leads the Bulldogs with 418 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns.
Just how much has Prescott, a senior, improved from last season to this season? Watch the film.
“I feel night and day,” Prescott said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I look back at my film last year and I kind of laugh on it. I think I’m a completely better player. I know the game so much better. I feel so much more comfortable out there, and I think it comes with experience. Just the plays we’re running this year, it’s a whole lot smoother out there.”
Prescott hopes for another smooth performance this Saturday against Alabama (8-1). The Tide are coming off a dominant 30-16 win against LSU but typically struggle against dual-threat quarterbacks such as Prescott.
“You just got to be balanced,” Prescott said. “You got to be able to pass the ball. Once they respect your arm and sit back in those coverages, then that’ll give you lanes to run. I think that’s why mobile quarterbacks in the past have had success. But you got to do both. You got to have that equal balance. . . . It’s a big game. Every week in the SEC is a big game, but . . . we’re not even an hour apart from each other. So you know you’re going to play a good team. We’ve got a good offense over here and they’ve got a great defense. We expect a great game on both sides of the ball.”
Mississippi State lost at Alabama, 25-20, last November. The Bulldogs trailed 19-0 in the first half, and Prescott threw three interceptions. Nevertheless, Mississippi State made a game of it.
Prescott expects better results this time around, especially in the red zone.
“Our receivers are better,” he said. “They’re more physical, they’re older, they’re more experienced. They understand they’ve got to get open faster, and I’m just playing better and I’m studying better and game-planning. Down there, you just got to react. You can’t think. When you think, that’s a second wasted. The ball could have been out. You just got to react and trust your gameplay and just let it go down there.”
Fred Ross leads Mississippi State in catches (51), while De-Runnya Wilson leads in receiving yards (626) and receiving touchdowns (eight).
Still, Prescott knows his squad will have to do a better job of running the ball on Alabama. Last year, the Bulldogs ran 40 times for 138 yards (3.5 yards per carry), with Prescott accounting for 82 of those yards on 22 carries.
“Their D-Line does a great job,” he said. “They play two gaps and they just do a great job of getting off blocks and creating holes for the linebackers to come up and make plays. They’re a solid front seven.”
Kickoff from Davis Wade Stadium is slated for 3:30 p.m. ET.