The Mississippi State Bulldogs rallied to win their final three games last season to finish at 7-6. Quarterback Dak Prescott had much to do with the late-season success for MSU, but if the Bulldogs are to take the next step in 2014, Prescott must continue to improve.
In 2013, Prescott accounted for 33.6 percent of Mississippi State’s rushing yards when he posted a team-high 829 yards on the ground. However, in the process of his 134 carries, Prescott suffered numerous injuries that kept him off the field for certain periods of time. This season, head coach Dan Mullen would love to see Prescott make more plays with his arm rather than his legs.
However, Prescott also must improve in that area. Last season, while sharing quarterbacking duties with Tyler Russell, Prescott completed 58.4 percent of his passes for 1,940 yards, with 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Mullen hopes that the touchdown passes can go up and that the interception number can go down.
Prescott needs to focus on improving his accuracy this season, as well as scrambling to make a throw rather than automatically running when a play breaks down. Prescott’s ability to scramble, as well as his large frame (6-2, 230 pounds) should allow him to do those things. But he needs to change his mindset that the only way to create something out of nothing is with his legs.
Mississippi State would love to take the next step up in the Southeastern Conference Western Division, and they have the quarterback in place. Now, it’s up to Prescott to make the necessary changes to become a leader that can challenge the SEC’s traditional powers.
Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.