The Dak Prescott Effect

Mississippi State fans are awfully proud of junior starting quarterback, Dak Prescott. Some Bulldog fans get pretty anxious when Prescott is not in the game. No disrespect to back up Damian Williams, but people are eager to see #15 under center and see just what he will do next. Through just over five quarters of action, Prescott is among the SEC leaders in most statistical categories.

Despite Dak Prescott playing just over five quarters of football, Mississippi State is averaging 48 points per game. That total is good for 4th in the SEC and 12th nationally.

The Bulldogs' 533 yards of offense per contest is good for 5th in the SEC and 19th nationally.

Needless to say, Dan Mullen's offense is having some success in the early going.

Prescott entered the season with a reputation as a run first quarterback, but the Louisiana native is 4th in the SEC in pass efficiency and currently tied with Missouri signal caller Maty Mauk, for the league lead in touchdowns thrown with eight.

The total is also tops nationally in all of FBS. Mauk and Prescott share the top of the podium with Buffalo's Joe Licata and Western Kentucky starter Brandon Doughty, a former Bulldog recruiting target out of Pompano Beach, Florida.

It is interesting to note that Mauk has played all, but two series of the Tigers' two contests on the season. Prescott has reached his total with considerably less snaps.

Against Southern Miss, Damian Williams took the helm for one first half series and then took over for good after Prescott staked the Bulldogs out to 35-0 lead following the first drive of the second half.

Williams returned and managed the final five offensive series of the game.

Against UAB, Prescott and Williams rotated for the first six series of the game taking three a piece.

Once the Blazers took the lead at 17-13, Prescott remained in the line up-at quarterback until the Bulldogs had put the game away.

Williams re-entered the contest with a 47-27 lead with just under two minutes remaining.

Dating back to last season, Mississippi State has scored 41 or more points in each of Prescott's last four starts.

The Bulldogs scored 41 on the road at Texas A&M, 44 in the Autozone Liberty Bowl against Rice, 49 in the 2014 season opener versus Southern Miss and 47 in the most recent contest against UAB, the most ever Bulldog points in the six game series with the Blazers.

Of note is that Prescott did not take the final snaps in any of those contests, but was still able to break the 40 point threshold.

Pundits and fans alike said all summer that the 2014 Bulldogs will go as far as Prescott can take them and his health was of the utmost importance.

After starting three different quarterbacks in 2013, it is clear that Dan Mullen has a two fold plan to prevent a similar pattern this fall.

Prescott is giving way to Williams for at least one first half series in the non-conference slate to allow the back up to play some meaningful snaps with the game in doubt and the full complement of the offensive playbook at his disposal.

Mullen is also doing his best to lessen the wear and tear on Prescott to keep him fresh throughout the season and be healthy for SEC play.

Against Southern Miss, Prescott carried the ball just eight times well beneath his average.

In a more competitive contest the following week, Prescott saw his carries rise to 18 netting 111 yards and a touchdown.

With just two games to review, it is too early to draw any real conclusions, but the smart thinking suggests that when the game allows, Prescott will distribute the football to his playmakers rather than try to shoulder more of the load himself.

When the time comes for Prescott to put the team on his back and fight through some adversity, he clearly has shown the ability to do that.

While fans are eager to see #15 in the game most of the time, what matters most is to have the rising star available and at his best when the lights shine brightest on the SEC stage.

Sharing some snaps with Williams in the non-conference games should aid in that effort.

That said, when the game is on the line, Prescott will be the one barking the Bulldog signals.


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