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Mississippi State 44, Rice 7: Dak Prescott threw for 283 yards and three scores and added a pair of rushing touchdowns as the Bulldogs dominated the Owls in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
Prescott completed 17-of-28 passes and formed a strong connection with Jameon Lewis, who hauled in nine catches for a school-record 220 yards. Prescott led Mississippi State (7-6) with 78 rushing yards as the Bulldogs closed out the season with three straight victories.
Taylor McHargue was held to 8-of-15 passing for 84 yards as Rice (10-4) managed just 145 total yards. Charles Ross rushed for a 1-yard touchdown but the Owls could not avoid the largest margin of defeat in Liberty Bowl history.
Ross’ score came with 6:41 left in the first quarter and gave Rice a 7-0 lead before Mississippi took over completely. Prescott hit LaDarius Perkins with a 10-yard pass to tie it and Ashton Shumpert’s 1-yard run put the Bulldogs on top.
Prescott found Malcolm Johnson for a 13-yard TD and hit Artimas Samuel for a 4-yard score with 10 seconds left in the half to send the Bulldogs into the break up 27-7. Prescott took to the ground in the third quarter, scoring from 5- and 11-yards out as Mississippi State put the game away.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Lewis nearly doubled his previous career high (113) in receiving yards. … Rice, which won Conference USA, had a four-game winning streak come to an end. … Rice came in ranked 16th nationally in rushing offense but managed just 61 yards on 32 carries.