Bulldogs Scout a Missouri Squad Built Around Aggressive Defense

Dak Prescott already has a non-busy Saturday planned. "I'll probably stay right there by my TV. Maybe order some pizza and be a true fan this weekend."

That's the benefit of playing a Thursday evening game. But of course Mississippi State must first take care of that very business, as Prescott leads the Bulldogs (6-2, 2-2 SEC) to Missouri (4-4, 1-4) for the prime time appearances. Kickoff on Faurot Field is 8:00ct for ESPN.

The Tigers have had their mid-season struggles with three low-scoring losses. Still State's senior quarterback know better than to judge any opponent off scoreboards and stat sheets And Prescott is preparing for an all-out challenge in Columbia.

What do you see of Missouri defensively? “They’re a solid team. I mean, great defense, best in the SEC and in the country when it comes to stats or whatever. So they’re a good defense. They get after it, they’ve got a good set of linebackers. So it will be a good matchup.”

How did you keep concentration through the bye-week? “Just to rest, make sure I got away from the game a little bit. But I still took some time to study, keep Missouri in my mind, and just in the gameplan.”

Missouri’s defensive line doesn’t run just base, is that something you get into a flow for? “Oh, yeah, they’re going to do a lot of twisting and moving. I think our scout team has done a good job of giving us that look throughout practice. So as long as they communicate up front, call it out and see it happening, adjust to it in the game, we’ll be fine with it all.”

Is it strange having a Thursday game, and late night? “Not really. I like it personally. I mean, a quick week, get another weekend off. It’s good to me. I’ve got on-line classes so I’m OK!”

Has the offense found itself the last three games? “Yeah, we’ve got the confidence going. We’ve gelled together. Everybody is working well together. The offensive line is protecting well, giving me time. The receivers are making plays, the running backs are hitting the holes. Just it’s all coming together.”

Is getting Gabe Myles back in the offense having another weapon? “Oh yeah, definitely. That’s a guy that has fresh legs, had some time off with his injury. He’s coming back, he’s a speedy guy. So to get him back that’s another weapon we can use.”

Did it help having a bye so it wasn’t such a quick turnaround? “Ah, yeah. I think so. We got a little jump on the game early last week, then took a couple of days off and came back to it. Like I said, as long as you studied and were staying in your playbook it felt like a normal game week to me."

The offense is playing better, you mentioned this is one of the better defenses you’ve faced. As a competitor is this what you play for? “Definitely. Thursday night game, on the road, hostile environment. A team that has won the SEC East two years now. It’s going to be a good game. We expect their defense to come out and play us hard and like I said we’re ready for this challenge.”

Thursday games, what’s it like in that quick turnaround? “You have to kind of cram the gameplan the days that you normally…you have to put Monday and Tuesday together, and Tuesday and Wednesday together. Because you’re still got to take the day off. As a player you have to make sure you get in that playbook on the day off and study it, and get ahead for yourself.”

Is it more difficult physically or mentally with a quick turnaround? “I guess it depends on the game before. I guess that was what, two years ago?”

You were younger then. “Right. A lot more energetic and the body could take more hits! It’s hard to say now.”

When you have a week like this, do get a chance (Saturday) to be a fan? “Oh yeah, definitely. And this week with a bunch of good games coming on, yeah, I’ll probably stay right there by my TV. Maybe order some pizza and be a true fan this weekend.”


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