BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -
Number 1 ranked Mississippi State takes on UT-Martin 3:00 p.m. Saturday celebrating homecoming against the Skyhawks in Starkville.
For the fourth consecutive week, the Bulldogs are the No. 1 team in the polls and should remain number one in the second College Football Playoff Selection Committee ranking to be released Tuesday evening.
Mississippi State is coming off a 17-10 win over Arkansas. Dak Prescott connected with Fred Ross for the game-winning 69-yard touchdown pass with 13:21 to play in the game. The Bulldogs have won 11-straight games which ranks second to Florida State. The defending National Champion Seminoles have won 24 consecutive games.
Head coach Dan Mullen said,"Looking back, Saturday was a great win for us. We have had to win games a lot of different ways, and we knew we were going to have to coming into this season. Before the game we actually talked to our team about that. We have won some high scoring games, and now we have won a low scoring game. We have won by holding on to leads, and now we have won by coming from behind. We have won running the ball well, and we have won games where we had to throw the ball well. We have won with goal line stands, and we have had to make offensive plays to win games. I am proud of our guys, and I think they understand all the ways they are going to have to win."
In two weeks Mississippi State takes on Alabama in what could be a game that will decide the SEC West Division title on November 15 in Tuscaloosa. Coach Dan Mullen knows his Bulldogs must take care of the football and limit their turnovers.
“We take a lot of pride in protecting the football,"stated Mullen. "I am obviously not very happy to have almost two years worth of turnovers in eight games. We go back and look at the turnovers, and I thought both interceptions were really bad interceptions Saturday. Some of the interceptions he has thrown were just him trying to give guys the opportunity to make plays. Those were not that way. His interceptions Saturday were poor reads. Obviously the fumbled punts are a major concern, because that is a skill. It is not like they played great defense to force those turnovers.
Former Mississippi State quarterback Dylan Favre, the former St. Stanislaus standout who guided the Rockachaws to the 2009 State Championship title is one of the quarterbacks at UT-Martin. Last week Brett Favre told me Dylan has been playing off and on, but you can bet he'll get a shot at his former teammates on Saturday.
Mullen said,"He is a play maker. I know that. We always knew that when he was here. If you put him out there exciting things are going to happen. Some good and some bad. I do not know if it gives us much of an advantage. He is going to be used to this environment. He has played in this stadium and has been in that environment before.”
Quarterback Dak Prescott and linebacker Benardrick McKinney have been named semifinalists for two national awards presented by the Maxwell Football Club, the Maxwell Football Club national selection committee announced Monday.
Prescott was one of 20 men named a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award, which is given yearly to the collegiate player of the year.
McKinney, a candidate for the 2014 Nagurski Trophy and Lombardi Award, was one of 20 men named a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award, given to the most outstanding defensive player of the year.