Posted: 7:46 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013
In my time as a Mississippi State fan, I'd be hard pressed to remember a season that featured more debate among the fanbase than the 2013 season. Everything from Mullen's job security to who should start at quarterback to the student's four-quarter attendance has been hotly debated even just since August, but in a 3-3 season that's halfway over, there are some bright spots mixed in with the turmoil.
One of those bright spots is Dak Prescott. After Tyler Russell went down in the season opener with a concussion, Prescott stepped in right away, providing a potentially more viable option at the quarterback position. While Dak's passing game has been an adequate fill in for Russell in his absence, it's his ability to run the football that has gotten the attention of most Bulldog football fans.
After registering just nine yards filling in the remainder of the Oklahoma State game for Tyler -- a game in which MSU trailed throughout, so Dak was asked to pass more in an attempt to catch up -- Prescott has rushed for 100 or more yards in three of his last five games. What's even more impressive is that in MSU's two toughest games in that five game stretch, against Auburn and LSU, Prescott rushed for a combined 236 yards and three touchdowns. That's pretty impressive for a QB, especially against middle of the pack SEC rushing defenses.
With six games down and six games to go, Dak has amassed an impressive 457 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. Assuming that he continues at his current pace -- a pace we'll base just off the last two games, since he split time in those and will most likely continue to do so -- Prescott could run for another 726 yards and nine touchdowns for the year, which would put him overall at 1,183 yards and 17 touchdowns for the season.
Now...... is it likely that Dak continues at a torrid pace of nearly 120 yards per game? Not really, considering the stiff competition featured in the back half of MSU's schedule. But, should Prescott be able to average just over 47 yards per game the rest of the way, he would surpass the great Don Smith (740 yards) as the all-time single season rushing yardage record holder for a quarterback in MSU history. It's also impressive when you consider that his season total would be higher than three out of four of the highest rushing totals -- running backs included -- for MSU football from 1999 to 2003.
Whether Prescott reaches this milestone this year or not isn't important; as a sophomore, he'll have another two shots at it before he leaves campus. But what is important to note is that Prescott provides a running threat at quarterback that we haven't seen in maroon and white since the late 80s. Bulldog fans are hoping that he finishes with the career numbers of Don Smith, but even more early than that, we're just hoping he can lead us to some wins in the back half of this season.