By Steve Reed – AP
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Dak Prescott closed out his college career in impressive fashion, throwing for a Belk Bowl-record 380 yards and four touchdowns in Mississippi State’s 51-28 victory over North Carolina State on Wednesday.
Selected the game MVP, Prescott completed 25 of 42 passes and ran for 47 yards to become the fourth player in FBS history to throw for 9,000 yards and run for 2,500 yards.
Prescott threw two touchdown passes to Brandon Holloway in the second half to break it open for the Bulldogs (9-4).
Wide receiver Fred Ross had seven catches for 74 yards and a touchdown and scored on a 33-yard reverse. De’Runnya Wilson added five catches for 96 yards and a touchdown to help the Bulldogs break the Belk Bowl scoring record.
North Carolina State’s Jacoby Brissett threw for one score and ran for another, but had two early interceptions that led to Mississippi State’s first 14 points.
Prescott lobbed his third TD pass of the game to Holloway over a blitzing defense to put the Bulldogs up 37-21 late in the third quarter. The senior quarterback hit Holloway in stride on a go route along the right sideline for a 55-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Holloway finished with 78 yards on four catches.
Mississippi State’s defense set the tone early.
On the first play from scrimmage, defensive end Jonathan Calvin hit Brissett as he released the ball and linebacker Gerri Green came up with the diving interception on the slick field at the Wolfpack 26. Five plays later, Ross hauled in a pass from Prescott in the left flat, turned up the left sideline and raced 14 yards for a score.
Brissett, who had only thrown four interceptions coming into the game, was picked off again later in the first quarter and Prescott capitalized by finding Wilson for a 28-yard scoring strike. Mississippi State made it 21-0 when Ross scored on a 33-yard reverse.
Brissett hooked up with former defensive end Pharoah McKever on an 82-yard scoring strike on a blown coverage to get NC State on the board, and Jaylen Samuels raced 46 yards for a touchdown to trim the lead to seven.
But the Bulldogs would begin to pull when left guard Justin Malone picked up a loose ball in the end zone after Prescott fumbled on a quarterback draw. The Bulldogs added a field goal to take a 31-14 lead at halftime.