MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Dak Prescott threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more scores and Mississippi State trounced Rice 44-7 on Tuesday in the most one-sided Liberty Bowl victory in the game’s 55-year history.
Mississippi State (7-6) wrapped up its fourth straight winning season and prevented Rice (10-4) from winning bowl games in back-to-back years for the first time. By accounting for five touchdowns, Prescott set a Liberty Bowl record.
After falling behind 7-0, the Bulldogs scored TDs on four consecutive possessions.
MSU’s Jameon Lewis caught nine passes for 220 yards to break the Liberty Bowl record held by Houston’s Vincent Marshall, who had 201 yards in a 44-36 loss to South Carolina in 2006. Lewis also set the school single-game record.
Prescott was 17 of 28 for 283 yards and also ran for 78 yards on 14 carries.
Prescott’s performance delighted a partisan crowd of 57,846 and capped a triumphant late-season performance amid personal tragedy for the sophomore quarterback, whose mother, Peggy, died of cancer in November.
Mississippi State stopped Rice’s rushing attack in its tracks. The Owls gained only 61 yards rushing – 179 less than their season average.