Recap: Miss State vs. UT Martin
Starkville, MS (SportsNetwork.com) - Dak Prescott had two touchdown passes and ran in another as top-ranked Mississippi State thumped UT Martin, 45-16.
Prescott went 14-of-23 for 206 yards and added 54 yards on six carries for the Bulldogs (9-0), who also got rushing touchdowns from Ashton Shumpert and Brandon Holloway.
Mississippi State has a big matchup next week at Alabama.
"It's a big-time game this week. This is what you play for," Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen said.
Jarod Neal had 159 yards on 14-of-27 attempts with a touchdown passing and running for the Skyhawks (5-6), who had won four straight coming in.
Mississippi State went three-and-out on its first touch, but its second possession saw the team move 96 yards in 13 plays, converting two third downs and scoring on one when Prescott tossed the ball to the right side of the end zone where Fred Brown came down with a 10-yard score.
The Skyhawks answered on their ensuing possession with a 10-play, 59-yard drive that saw Jackson Redditt boot a 33-yard field goal, but the Bulldogs quickly answered as the first play of the second quarter saw Prescott keep it himself on a 48-yard touchdown run for a 14-3 lead.
Later in the second, the Bulldogs started a drive near midfield and Holloway followed a 17-yard run with a 35-yarder for a score and a 21-3 lead.
Mississippi State had the ball again later in the second and lined up for a punt on 4th-and-4, but opted for a fake as Devon Bell tossed the ball to Tolando Cleveland for a 10-yard gain. That led to a 27-yard field goal from Evan Sobiesk as the team took a 24-3 lead into the break.
The Bulldogs kept rolling in the second half as their first touch was finished off with a deep ball when Prescott found Joe Morrow wide open for a 55-yard score.
Shumpert's score came on the first snap of Mississippi State's next possession as he took the ball 59 yards for a 38-3 lead.
Neal found Ben Axline for a 31-yard score to get the Skyhawks on the board in the second half and the team recovered a fumble that led to a Neal 1-yard score to make it a 38-16 game as the extra point on Neal's score was missed.
The Bulldogs, though, put any thoughts of a miracle to rest as Damian Williams found Jamoral Graham for a 44-yard score to account for the final tally.
"Our kids came out and fought hard and I would go to war with them any day," UT Martin head coach Jason Simpson said.Game Notes
UT-Martin controlled the ball for over 36 minutes, but Mississippi State won
the yardage battle, 520-367 ... Abou Toure led all rushers with 94 yards on 19
carries for UT Martin ... This was just the second meeting between these two
schools. The other was a 55-17 victory for Mississippi State on Nov. 5, 2011.