Mississippi State regroups, tries to build momentum vs. Troy

Published 10:00 am Friday, October 9, 2015

Mississippi State’s first five weeks of the season haven’t been terrible, but also haven’t gone exactly as planned.

The Bulldogs have already lost two games in the Southeastern Conference and are now a longshot to win the Western Division title. But a manageable stretch of games over the next month might allow Mississippi State to build some momentum heading into a difficult November.

Mississippi State (3-2) hosts Troy (1-3) on Saturday before another non-conference game against Louisiana Tech. Then the Bulldogs host Kentucky before a road game against Missouri.

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That sounds manageable, but coach Dan Mullen believes the immediate challenge for Mississippi State is to figure out a way to play better.

“We have guys that will fight and play hard,” Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said. “The one thing we have to learn how to do is to go expect to make plays.”

Senior quarterback Dak Prescott isn’t getting the same type of hype as last season, when he emerged as a Heisman Trophy candidate, but he’s quietly having a very good season with 1,279 passing yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions. He also leads the team with 217 yards rushing and three touchdowns.

The rest of team has been hit or miss. Of particular concern is a running game that ranks just 11th out of 14 SEC teams with 155 yards per game.

“One of the things in college football that you see week-to-week is that if you don’t play well you’re not going to win,” Mullen said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re the No. 1 team in the country or if you haven’t won a game. If you play really well, you’re going to have an opportunity to win.”

DAVID BRANDT, AP Sports Writer