Here’s a scenario: A redshirt freshman backup quarterback enters the game in short-yardage and red zone situations, ready to use his dual-threat skills in a package built just for him.
The description sure sounds like J.W. Walsh’s role for Oklahoma State down the stretch last season. But that’s also the way Mississippi State used backup Dak Prescott in 2012–as a change-up option to starter Tyler Russell, a pro-style quarterback. Prescott tallied four rushing touchdowns and four passing touchdowns last season, to go with 194 passing yards and 110 rushing yards.
Unlike OSU coach Mike Gundy, who suggested Walsh and Clint Chelf may form more of a two-quarterback system Saturday against the Bulldogs, Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said at his Monday press conference that Prescott’s job will largely stay the same against OSU.
“It would be more situationally, than a set, ‘Hey, the third play of the game, you’re going in,’” Mullen said of when Prescott will see the field. “There’s a package that he’s going to run. Now, when we get in a situation where we want to use that package, (he’ll play).
“Last year, we probably force-fed Dak on a little bit more, being a young player. Dak’s played in games, has experience. He’s thrown touchdown passes. He’s run for touchdowns in SEC games in big environments.
As far as trying to make sure he has that experience early on, that’s not as critical.
“It’s just he’ll be ready to go—be ready to be the backup quarterback and be ready to run whatever package he has.”