Mississippi State's offensive struggles could continue this week against Alcorn State, with starting quarterback Tyler Russell unlikely to play because of a concussion he sustained during Saturday's loss to No. 13 Oklahoma State.
Coach Dan Mullen instead will turn to sophomore Dak Prescott to make the first start of his career. The former three-star prospect from Louisiana signed with the Bulldogs in 2011 and emerged as a dual-threat option at quarterback last season as a redshirt freshman, accounting for eight touchdowns in 12 games.
Prescott, who comes in at 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds, brings a change of pace to the Mississippi State offense that featured a largely stationary passer in Russell, who has gained all of 104 yards rushing in 96 career carries, while Prescott carried the ball effectively, rushing 32 times for 131 yards and four touchdowns last season alone.
Mississippi State's offense is in need of a boost. The Bulldogs scored just three points and converted on two of 16 third-down attempts against an Oklahoma State defense that historically has been porous.
The tone of Mullen's news conference Monday was made worse when the fifth-year head coach announced that starting safety Jay Hughes would miss the rest of the season after injuring his right Achilles in the opener.