And it was Prescott’s Maroon team which came up short, falling 28-24 to the White. Though, as Coach Dan Mullen admitted, there were extenuating circumstances. The White squad needed an illegal and always-entertaining touchdown pass play from former Dog Anthony ‘Boobie’ Dixon to tie the game up in the second quarter.
In the last half, the White did make a more legitimate go-ahead scoring play. Trailing 24-21, it was a (legitimate this time) throw from QB Nick Fitzgerald to WR Donald Gray for what became the final margin. So, the White team can sleep in late Sunday if they wish, while the Maroons scout Davis Wade Stadium for trash.
It was not for lack of effort or efficiency by all-star triggerman Prescott that the Maroons must play cleaning crew. The senior was 20-of-29 passing for 231 yards and three touchdowns, without an interception or any other sort of turnover. He also ran for 22 net yards, albeit since Prescott was hands-off (mostly, though a few very veteran defensive Dogs took some liberties).
Prescott did take three whistle-sacks though. And, before bowing-out in the third quarter, he did miss on what will be his final three spring passes. “I kind of stunk it up. And I didn’t want to end on that.”
Then again only Prescott smelled anything sour in his spring finale. Well, that and any whiffs from tomorrow’s trash patrol. It’s safe to assume had Coach Dan Mullen allowed Mississippi State’s star to stay on the field another series or two, then the Whites would be dragging debris out tomorrow, too.
The full transcript of Prescott’s post-game interview follows.
PRESCOTT: “It was fun. A good last spring, a good last spring game. I’m upset we’ve got to come to 10:00 (am), we can’t sleep in or do whatever we want to do. But it was good overall, everybody got better. I let other guys make sure they led. I feel like we’re in the right position we need to be in at this point.”
How would you classify your last spring? “My last spring, I guess! It had some ups, it had some downs. I came in each and every day with the mindset just to get better, to make sure I allowed my team the chance to get better and reach their potential. I think we did that each and every day, with the right attitude.”
De’Runnya Wilson didn’t go a lot of spring, is the chemistry with him where you want? “Oh, yeah. Exactly. He just finally started going full-speed in the spring and today was a chance, I told him to come out here and run, let’s get our game-speed going. Right now is a chance in the game to make sure we pick it up, and we had good chemistry and were looking good.”
What is your evaluation of the offensive line after the full spring? “I think they’ve come a long way communication-wise. They’re just as good as the offensive line was last year athletically. So just the knowledge and the experience, all that’s coming along. It will get better in fall camp so they’re where they need to be.”
How are you and Jamaal Clayborn working together? “Jamaal, he’s great. I trust him, he’s done everything he needs to do. Like I said the communication is great between us two, we feel comfortable. So I think we do a good job, me and him, the tackles, and everybody else.”
Do you feel you matured as a passer this spring? “Oh yeah, definitely. I’m sure my completion percentage throughout the spring has been more consistent, higher than it’s been in my time here. And I think I threw pretty well today. That last drive, I kind of stunk it up there near the end with three incompletions in a row. And I didn’t want to end on that. Overall yeah, I’ve improved and got more consistent in a lot of things. It started on my feet.”
How do you see Nick Fitzgerald evolve as a quarterback? “He’s come a long way, he’s been great. His feet have gotten a lot better. It’s still some work to be done and he’s getting very good, he’s consistent now. His knowledge has come a long way. I mean he’s still a young quarterback, got a lot to learn, but just his improvement from last year to this year is a huge step.”
Talk about having so many tools to work with this year, with the receivers and backs? “Right, I just have to make sure going into the off-season that I know exactly what they’re all going to do, that we’re all on the same page. Basically they’re all so versatile and so different. They all can offer something different to the offense. So I just have to make sure I get the right feeling with them, they understand everything I’m doing, we’re thinking the same thing when they go out there on a route. And make sure we get in the right plays come fall.”
You and De’Runnya had good chemistry last year, how can it get better? “I mean, everything. He should know what I’m thinking from the moment I drop back, depending on what the coverage is. And vice-versa. We should be in each other’s heads. And along with him, the same with Fred Ross, Fred Brown, any guy I throw to. And that’s just what we’re going to take the next step into the off season in doing.”
Is the vibe around this team different after what happened last fall, less of a we have to show you vibe? “Oh yeah, definitely. And I think people still doubt us, that we won’t come out this year and we won’t do the same or we won’t get any better. Our aspirations are only to be better, to be a better team and finish the season off that we didn’t quite do last year. So that kind of just allowed us to have a bigger chip on our shoulder and gave us something to play for.”
What part of the offense do you feel did the best from start of spring to finish? “Just more consistent in the passing game. Like I said, the receivers we had, they’re so good and it’s easy to get the ball in their hands and they’re going to make plays. And me as a passer, just got better and more consistent. So I think that whole game is coming together.”
What do you need to improve before the season? “Just, everything. I mean it’s only in the spring. We’ve got our whole fall camp to go through so every part of our offense can be fixed or better.”