Dan Mullen’s Mississippi State Bulldogs trailed 7-0 midway through the first quarter to the Rice Owls, but after that it was all State as they scored 44 unanswered points to take the AutoZone Liberty Bowl 44-7.
The 37-point win is the largest margin of victory in the history of the Liberty Bowl.
The Bulldogs were led by Dak Prescott’s three touchdowns and Jameon Lewis’ 181 receiving yards–in the first half.
Prescott was 12/19 with 228 yards in the first half and added 54 yards on nine carries against the over-matched Owls and after halftime the rout was on for he and the ‘Dawgs.
Prescott was pulled after the third quarter in favor of freshman Damian Williams and ended the night with 283 passing yards and three touchdowns with 77 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
With a number of veteran signal-callers graduating or declaring for the NFL draft from the SEC this season, Prescott could challenge Auburn Tiger’s Nick Marshall as perhaps the top quarterback in the conference in 2014.
Lewis established a Liberty Bowl and Mississippi State record with his 220 yards receiving on nine receptions.
Rice couldn’t get much going on offense against a stingy Bulldog defense and finished with 145 total yards of offense.
Rice finishes their season 10-4 after winning Conference USA to earn this bowl berth while State improves to 7-6 and ends the season on a three-game winning streak.
State has been to a bowl game for four straight years, winning three of them, for the first time in program history.