MWN Mailbag: #DakAttack Edition


The MWN Mailbag is full of Dak. Dak Prescott had arguably his best performance at Mississippi State against the Kentucky Wildcats, and in a long line of impressive performances, that’s saying something.

Oct 24, 2015; Starkville, MS, USA; A Mississippi State fan dressed as a gorilla rings a cowbell during the third quarter of the game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Davis Wade Stadium. Mississippi State won 42-16 Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

The reaction has been swift by Mississippi State fans. People want to put the performance in some type of perspective, and I am here to help. And for the first time since probably the first week of the season, I DON’T HAVE TO ANSWER A QUESTION ABOUT THE RUNNING GAME!! WOOHOO!!

Needless to say, this makes me happy. There are more pressing issues at hand. And the most pressing issue at hand is putting the performance of one Dakota Prescott into perspective. And that was on the forefront of your mind for this week’s MWN Mailbag.

To the questions!

That’s a tough one, simply because you have to define best. Is best where he executed the best at the quarterback position, or do you define best as a performance that carries the team to a win against a quality opponent? I’ll try to marry the two and come up with some hybrid. Trying to take into consideration both, here is what I came up with.

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  • My third spot is this past weekend’s game against the Kenyucky Wild Cats. I don’t believe there is a game where Dak Prescott did everything right. Prescott only had the one mistake when he under threw Fred Brown and was picked off. He read the defense as well as he ever has, and he executed at the highest of levels. It loses points for importance, but even it has some significance. The win got the Bulldogs to 6 wins and kept alive the possibility of a 9-3 or 10-2 season.

    Second on the list could have gone a number of ways, but the 2013 Egg Bowl goes here for me. The numbers aren’t eye popping at first Prescott completed 11 of 20 passes for 115 yards and ran the ball 7 times for 29 yards and one touchdown, but there are other factors to consider. First, it was his first game in nearly a month. Second, he played basically a quarter’s worth of football. Third, it propelled State to a bowl and gave the Bulldogs the momentum they needed to pull off the 2014 season.

    The top spot for me goes to the 2014 LSU game. Dak annihilated the LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge that night. The performance wasn’t as clean as the most recent game, but that was the spark that started the wildfire of a season that 2014 was. It solidified the preseason talk surrounding Prescott, and the rest is history.

    It’s definitely premature in the sense we need to wait until he actually graduates. This isn’t the same as putting a statue of a legendary coach on a campus. The coach could stick around for decades, and we would want to honor his contributions while he was there. But for a player, I think they need to finish their career before we do anything like erect a statue in their likeness.

    Now, should Prescott even be considered for a statue? That’s a tough call. If you look for people who have had statues of them placed on their college campus, the standard is players like Tim Tebow, Doak Walker, Earl Campbell, and Doug Flutie. There are others, but those are some of the players who jump out. There was one common thread for every single player I found that had a statue on the campus they played for.

    They all won the Heisman Trophy.

    Now, that isn’t to say there isn’t a single player who has a statue of himself on campus that didn’t win the Heisman, but I couldn’t find one. It also doesn’t mean Mississippi State has to follow the same criteria. But if we are going to erect a statue of a player, I think we need to take some time and get proper perspective. And that perspective won’t be gained until after Dak Prescott has graduated and we have had time to reflect on what we have seen.

    As a matter of fact, he is not. Darrion Hutcherson is listed at 6’7″ and there have been a number of players to come through at that height. But in all the rosters I looked at, the player who is listed as the tallest is Damian Robinson. He is listed at 6’8″.

    But here is the odd thing with Robinson. He hasn’t been listed at the same height every year. Here is the heights he is listed at on

    • 2010: 6’8″
    • 2011: 6’6″
    • 2012: 6’7″
    • 2013: 6’8″
    • 2014: 6’8″
    • 2015: 6’8″

    So for four of the six years, Robinson has been an inch taller than Hutcherson. In one year, he was an inch shorter, and in another year, they were the same height.

    This is obviously a troll question, but I have no problem in answering troll questions. The reason I have no problem with troll questions is because there is the basis of a much better question underneath the trolly surface.

    The trolly question is covering up the real question about whether or not Mississippi State fans are jumping the gun on Nick Fitzgerald. And let me be clear.

    Many of us most certainly are.

    Our former writer Jake Wimberly posted a piece about pumping the brakes on Shea Patterson. Because it was about an Ole Miss football commitment, most people took the entire piece out of context. Jake wasn’t saying Patterson won’t be good or that he won’t be elite. He was simply saying people were jumping the gun on declaring Patterson to be a sure fire success.

    Well, there are a lot of Mississippi State fans that could also learn this very important lesson about Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald has looked spectacular in the limited time he has been on the field. The key word in that sentence is limited. Nick Fitzgerald has thrown a total of 11 passes on the season, and all of which came against Northwestern State and Troy. He looks like he has all the tools needed to perform at a high level in the Dan Mullen offense. Mississippi State fans should feel very comfortable knowing Nick Fitzgerald is waiting in the wings.

    But they should also remember the only substantial playing time he has had came against Troy and Northwestern State, easily the worst teams we will play this season. To assume Nick Fitzgerald is going to surpass what Dak Prescott has accomplished based off of limited action against bad teams is questionable at best. Auburn fans are learning what over-hyping a player can look like with Jeremy Johnson. And let’s be honest, Auburn fans had more to go on with Johnson than Mississippi State fans have to go on with Fitzgerald.

    And none of this has even touched the fact Nick Fitzgerald may not see time exclusively at quarterback in 2016. Dan Mullen is very high on what Elijah Staley brings to the table. If Mullen thinks they’re both good enough to play and contribute, Mullen will play both of them. He did it in 2013 with Dak Prescott and Tyler Russell, and I have no reason to believe he wouldn’t do the same thing with Fitzgerald and Staley.

    Mississippi State fans should absolutely feel good about the quarterback position the next few years. But we shouldn’t assume all of Dak’s school records are about to fall.

    I would take Hilton, Sanders, and Moncrief. My only concern with Decker is he plays in a run heavy offense and won’t have the opportunity the other three have to rack up points. I know Peyton isn’t the same Peyton Manning we have come to expect, but I would trust him getting the ball to Sanders more than I would any receiver getting chances in the Jets offense.

    If you follow my advice and Decker scores 30 points, I apologize in advance. It’s the drawback to having more good players on your team than you have spots available.

    This actually just broke on Tuesday, the day I am writing this piece. I think his return, assuming the Tigers play Mauk, might actually help the Bulldogs.

    Maty Mauk, for all of his talent, is a turnover waiting to happen. The season is a lost cause for Missouri, and if I were Gary Pinkel, I would continue to play the true freshman. The Tigers may not win another game this season, and Mauk appears to do more harm than good, so I would run with the freshman from this point on if I were Pinkel.

    Hope you enjoyed the mailbag. Hit me up on Twitter @JustinStrawnMWN.

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