Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott earns MOP honors at Senior Bowl

ESPN logo
Sunday, January 31, 2016

MOBILE, Ala. -- Dak Prescott didn't want to let his Senior Bowl turn end quietly.

The Mississippi State quarterback's first drive of the second quarter included a false start penalty and led to a punt, but he bounced back on his second chance and helped lead the South to a 27-16 victory over the North on Saturday.

"I came back the second series and realized that if I wanted to make something happen in this game, this was my only opportunity," Prescott said. "And it was a two-minute drive. I got the guys going. They rallied behind me, blocked well, made some good catches, and we were able to get in the end zone."

Prescott ran a couple times and completed two passes to Baylor's Jay Leefor first downs and two more to Southeast Missouri's Paul McRoberts, including a 5-yard touchdown. Then Prescott's day was over, and it was enough to secure him Most Outstanding Player honors.

He wasn't the only SEC West quarterback to lead South scoring drives. Arkansas'Brandon Allen and Alabama's Jake Coker also produced points, but without throwing for scores.

Allen passed for a game-high 106 yards, including a couple on-target deep balls. Prescott threw for 61 yards and a touchdown, with both teams rotating among their four quarterbacks after each quarter. Both quarterbacks were 7-of-10 passing.

Baylor's 6-foot-7 defensive end Shawn Oakman loomed large on the North defense. He racked up two first-half sacks and a forced fumble and was named the South's MVP.

"I felt like they [NFL teams] saw me play," Oakman said. "They were able to see me play really full-tilt, and I think I gave them what they wanted to see."

Boise State's Darian Thompson was the North MVP after posting five tackles and two pass breakups.

North Dakota State's Carson Wentz, the game's top quarterback prospect, had a mostly quiet first quarter. He completed six of 10 passes for 50 yards, and the North didn't score, but he drew positive reviews during the week.

"I think I just really answered that this stage and this speed isn't too big for me," said Wentz, who led the Bison to a fifth consecutive FCS title. "Whatever level you're from -- even if you come from the SEC or Division III -- you've got to adjust to the speed, and I think this was just a good feel for that."

Ohio State quarterback-turned-receiver Braxton Millerdidn't produce big plays on offense, either.

Miller, whose play in practice got a lot of attention during the week, had two catches for 8 yards and a 5-yard run and dropped a short pass. He also had a 31-yard kick return, while playing one of the few roles he didn't fill with the Buckeyes.

Each quarter had a two-minute warning to give the quarterbacks a chance to run the offense in that situation.

The game's rule to switch possession after each quarter helped keep the North from benefiting more after a huge special-teams play.Wisconsin's Joe Schobert blocked a field goal attempt, and West Virginia's KJ Dillon returned it 73 yards in the final seconds of the third.

USC's Cody Kessler couldn't get the North into the end zone before the quarter ended, as he missed an open Miller in the end zone.

That came after Allen's best drive. He threw a pretty deep ball to Kansas State tight end Glenn Gronkowski -- younger brother of New England Patriots star Rob -- late in the third quarter. Then Allen fired another pass to Paul McRoberts, the first player from FCS Southeast Missouri to make the game.

McRoberts gained 46 receiving yards and returned a punt 27 yards.

Ohio State tight end Nick Vannett led North players with three catches for 58 yards.

For the South, NC State's Jacoby Brissett, a Florida transfer, got into the act with a touchdown drive in the fourth quarter.

He and former Gators teammate Jeff Driskel,who played his final season at Louisiana Tech,matched up in the final quarter. Driskel's wobbly throw on the final play went for a 29-yard touchdown to Aaron Burbridge of Michigan State.

Coker, a Mobile native who led the Crimson Tide's national championship run in his lone season as the starter, played the first quarter and helped set up a 25-yard touchdown scamper by TCU's Aaron Green.