That question is the message Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott sent to the SEC and college football world with his virtuoso performance Saturday night against the Kentucky Wildcats. It had been a relatively quiet season for Prescott compared to the national buzz and Heisman trophy whispers following him around through the entire 2014 season.
By no means had Prescott been a disappointment in his encore performance as senior, there just hadn’t been that signature play, heroic performance or eye-popping stat line. That ‘s changed after Prescott’s single-handed demolition of the Wildcats.
Through the air, Prescott completed 25 of his 35 passing attempts for 348 yards and three touchdowns. The passing numbers alone would make for an impressive performance, but Prescott was just as dominant on the ground, rushing for 117 yards and another three scores for a grand total of 465 yards of total offense and six trips to the end zone. You’ll have to forgive Prescott for not being perfect as he did throw his first interception of the season in the eighth game of the year.
Prescott’ play not only led the Bulldogs to a 42-16 blowout of Kentucky, but also reminded SEC fans of something that never should have been forgotten: Dak Prescott in the SEC’s best quarterback, and it isn’t a close race.
There are only so many adjectives to use when describing Prescott’s performance on Saturday night that do it justice, but perhaps the best way to show the magnitude of his play is by comparing it to top performances of the three Heisman-winning SEC quarterbacks in the past decade.
Cam Newton never had a game in his one year in Auburn in which he had 300+ passing yards, 100+ rushing yards and six total touchdowns. Johnny Manziel certainly put up all kinds of unbelievable statistical performances in his two years as a starter at Texas A&M, but only managed to pull off those kinds of stats once. Tim Tebow also matched Prescott’s performance just once while playing quarterback for the Florida Gators.
Prescott hasn’t as many appearances on SportsCenter as he did last year, and his name isn’t a part of any Heisman conversation. But no quarterback in the SEC or perhaps even the country has matched the consistently strong and smart play that the Bulldogs’ quarterback has brought to the field every time Mississippi State has suited up this year.
There might not be a head coach in the country with more trust in his quarterback than Dan Mullen.
“Dak’s going to take what they give him,” Mullen said, per ESPN. “Sometimes he’s the first read, sometimes he’s the third. But what we’ve got is a quarterback that’s comfortable making good decisions on the field.”
With only a third of a season left in his college football career, Prescott will have the chance put an exclamation point on his accomplishments in Starkville over the next few weeks.
The most obvious of those opportunities comes on November 14th when the Alabama Crimson Tide will make the trip down Highway I-82 from Tuscaloosa to Starkville. Back on the primetime national stage, Prescott will have the chance to spoil potential National Championship hopes for the Tide and get the Bulldogs their first win against Alabama since Nick Saban’s first season in Tuscaloosa in 2007.