Dan Mullen has done some great work in Starkville, but there was no denying his résumé was lacking a signature win. That, clearly, is no longer the case. Led by a Louisiana native who might be the best dual-threat quarterback east of Eugene, Ore., Mississippi State exorcised a ton of demons Saturday night in Baton Rouge, holding on for a 34–29 win against LSU in Tiger Stadium.
Dak Prescott, a Haughton, La., native who only got a look from LSU late in the recruiting process, threw for 268 yards and two touchdowns (without an INT) and ran for 105 yards and a score to lead the Bulldogs to their first win over the Tigers since 1999 and their first in Baton Rouge since 1991. Prescott has had 200-plus yards passing and 100-plus yards rushing in three straight games, and the Bulldogs have had at least 500 yards in five straight games, a school record.
State got the job done with some explosive plays — 10 that went for at least 20 yards — against an LSU defense that had not allowed a point since the third quarter of a Week 1 win over Wisconsin. For the game, the Bulldogs averaged 7.8 yards per snap, becoming only the second team since the beginning of the 2008 season to top the 7.0 mark against LSU.
Life in the SEC West will be treacherous this season, but Mississippi State has the talent — and makeup — to be factor in the division race. A team that is capable of winning in Baton Rouge on a Saturday night is a team that can win in any venue in the league.