Last Friday, the Bulldogs held their only scrimmage of the bowl preparation period.
While several youngsters stepped up giving coaches and fans alike a reason to be excited for the prospects of the future of MSU football, no one impressed quite like Dakota "Dak" Prescott.
Chris Relf saw limited action. Tyler Russell was out with a knee injury. Dylan Favre is no longer a Bulldog.
The absences in front of Prescott simply gave him more opportunities to shine and that’s exactly what he did.
“He got a ton of reps," MSU football coach Dan Mullen said. "It was a great opportunity for him, especially going into the stadium. One of the things is he gets to see how much he has to work on and how many reps he needs before he’s going to be ready to go play in the game.”
State’s offensive coordinator Les Koenning agrees it was good work for the Haughton La., product.
“You can see that he is very inconsistent and he knows that,” said Koenning. “It is just different for him. Things are quicker and he’s just got to get going.”
Following the scrimmage, a very poised Prescott fielded questions from the media for the first time as a Bulldog.
“I started off a little slow and had to get out of a little slump,” he said. “I had to calm down a little bit because I was excited, but I got it going a little bit. I think I did alright in the game.”
The true freshman accounted for over 400 yards through the air and a couple of scores. He also showed his ability to make plays with his feet and a toughness that isn’t common among quarterbacks.
Out of high school, Prescott was a highly sought after recruit who threw for 2,860 yards and 39 touchdowns during his senior campaign. He also added 951 yards on 90 carries with 17 rushing scores.
“He’s such a high energy guy," Mullen said. "He’s very motivated. He works really hard and wants to be good. It is just going to be a lot of teaching for him. He has the want to. He has the ability. He has the toughness, he likes to be a leader on the field and now he’s just got to get the skill all down.”
As one might imagine, Prescott has spent the past year with his nose in his playbook learning the Bulldog offense. He’s confident in his knowledge of what Mullen expects of him and what it takes to command the MSU offense.
“Once you get something, the rest of it just starts to come," Prescott said. "I feel like I’ve got some stuff but there is definitely a lot more to learn. I can just go in everyday and learn from Chris and Tyler and do the best I can.”
For State fans the impressive performance should serve as just a teaser for what is to come as Prescott expects Relf to take care of business in the Music City Bowl.
“I think I’m going to have to run some scout and do a little bit of both," Prescott said. "Tyler, he’s alright. Chris, he’ll get the job done.”