You knew Jeff Driskel was out to prove a point. Louisiana Tech's quarterback and former Florida Gators starter waltzed into Starkville, Mississippi, and promptly put Louisiana Tech up 14-0 in the first quarter, but that's about all the excitement he got. Mississippi State pulled away with a 31-3 run before finishing off the other Bulldogs, 45-20.
Driskel returned to the SEC with 303 passing yards (his first-career 300-yard passing game against an SEC opponent), but was out-dueled by Mississippi State's Dak Prescott, who finished the day with 347 passing yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for a team-high 34 yards and another score. Prescott was helped by receiver De'Runnya Wilson, who had in seven catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns.
Mississippi State (5-2, 1-2 SEC) has now won 11 straight against nonconference opponents during the regular season.
What the win means for Mississippi State: These Bulldogs now move to 5-2, which means they are a win away from becoming bowl-eligible for a record sixth straight season. But this team clearly has more on its mind than that. Mississippi State got a nice tune-up before hosting a 4-2 Kentucky team coming off of a tough loss at home to Auburn on Thursday.
What the loss means for Louisiana Tech: Things started off well for this group of Bulldogs, but as Mississippi State's defense got more comfortable and put more pressure on Driskel, Louisiana Tech's offense shrank. Louisiana Tech is now 4-3 with a key game against 2-4 Middle Tennessee State coming up at home next weekend.
Player of the game: Prescott put this offense on his back after a slow start by Mississippi State. He totaled 381 yards of offense with four touchdowns. With those four touchdowns, Prescott now has 87 total touchdowns in his career. He passed Rex Grossman, Andre Woodson and Eli Manning to move into eighth place all-time in the SEC for total touchdowns.
The game turned when...: Mississippi State was already gaining momentum, but took all of the wind out of Louisiana Tech's sails when Donald Gray blocked Gerald Shouse's punt at the 23-yard line. Mississippi State recovered the ball at the 2, which set up a touchdown run on the the very next play to make it 24-17. Mississippi State wouldn't trail again.