Mississippi State defensive back Will Redmond (2) reaches to intercept a pass intended for Arkansas wide receiver Demetrius Wilson (85) in the end zone in the final seconds of Saturday night’s game in Starville, Miss. No. 1 Mississippi State won 17-10.
STARKVILLE, Miss. — Dak Prescott threw for a career-high 331 yards and a touchdown to help No. 1 Mississippi State beat Arkansas 17-10 on Saturday night.
Mississippi State (8-0, 5-0 Southeastern Conference, No. 1 CFP) trailed until the third quarter and didn’t take the lead until Prescott’s 69-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Fred Ross made it 17-10 with 13:21 remaining.
Arkansas had two promising drives in the fourth quarter, but neither resulted in points. Will Redmond intercepted a pass in the end zone with 15 seconds left to end the Razorbacks’ final chance.
The Razorbacks (4-5, 0-5) have lost 17 straight conference games dating to 2012.
It wasn’t the prettiest game for Prescott — who threw two interceptions — but he made clutch throws during crucial moments in the second half. Josh Robinson caught six passes for a career-high 110 yards.
Arkansas’ Brandon Allen completed 22 of 43 passes for 238 yards and the interception in the final seconds. Alex Collins had 93 yards rushing.
Mississippi State has won 11 straight games, the second-longest streak in the country behind Florida State. Prescott is the first Mississippi State player to throw for 300 yards since 2007. He completed 18 of 27 passes.
Arkansas led 10-0 early in the second quarter on Adam McFain’s 36-yard field goal and Alex Collins’ 1-yard touchdown run. The Razorbacks looked little like a team that hadn’t won an SEC game in two years, methodically moving the ball down the field.
Mississippi State struggled to get started. The Bulldogs had three turnovers in the first half.
Prescott wore a protective boot on his left foot during interview sessions throughout the week leading up to the game, but insisted that it was only a precautionary measure.
That might have been a little gamesmanship. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound junior didn’t look comfortable early, gingerly moving in the pocket. He threw two interceptions in the first half and didn’t even attempt to run the ball until the second quarter, when it became obvious that the offense was struggling without that threat.
The Bulldogs finally broke through with Robinson’s 3-yard touchdown with 7:30 remaining in the second quarter to pull to 10-7. Prescott and Robinson combined for 35 yards rushing on the drive.
It didn’t exactly open the floodgates, but the drive did establish some semblance of rhythm.
Robinson’s play was crucial throughout the night. He came into the game with just 12 catches for 159 yards over the first seven games, but was Prescott’s favorite target for much of Saturday.
The Bulldogs tied it at 10 with 3:35 remaining in the third quarter on Evan Sobiesk’s 37-yard field goal.
Arkansas had a chance to take the lead early in the fourth, but McFain’s 42-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right. The Razorbacks were held scoreless in the second half in what ended as another frustrating night for a program that’s played several close games against SEC opponents this season.
|No. 1 MISSISSIPPI ST. 17, ARKANSAS 10|
Ark-FG McFain 36, 9:50.
Ark-A.Collins 1 run (McFain kick), 11:01.
MSSt-J.Robinson 3 run (Sobiesk kick), 7:30.
MSSt-FG Sobiesk 37, 3:35.
MSSt-Ross 69 pass from Prescott (Sobiesk kick), 13:21.
|Time of Possession||38:46||21:14|
RUSHING-Arkansas, A.Collins 16-93, Jon.Williams 15-47, Walker 4-19, Coleman 1-7, B.Allen 2-(minus 3). Mississippi St., J.Robinson 19-64, Prescott 13-61, Ross 1-7, Team 2-(minus 4).
PASSING-Arkansas, B.Allen 22-43-1-238, D.Mitchell 0-1-0-0. Mississippi St., Prescott 18-27-2-331.
RECEIVING-Arkansas, Henry 7-110, Hatcher 7-50, Cornelius 2-39, Wilson 2-16, Hollister 2-12, Derby 1-6, Morgan 1-5. Mississippi St., J.Robinson 6-110, Ross 3-91, F.Brown 2-47, M.Johnson 2-42, Wilson 2-18, Griffin 1-23, Lewis 1-2, Holloway 1-(minus 2).