STARKVILLE – Mississippi State defensive end Ryan Brown was selected as the Southeastern Conference Defensive Lineman of the Week for his stellar showing against Troy.
The 6-foot-6, 266-pound senior from New Orleans made a career-high seven stops, 31⁄2 tackles for loss, one sack and one pass deflection in the Bulldogs’ 45-17 win.
“It wasn’t just Ryan putting out show on the field, it was our entire defensive line playing at another level,” said MSU coach Dan Mullen. “He’s the guy that ended up with the best stats because of what they were doing. That is as much everybody else on the defensive line as much as it is him causing some issues in the backfield and creating negative-yard plays. He’s the guy that ended up as the beneficiary from all the penetration we got up front.”
Brown has started all six games this season registering 26 tackles, 51⁄2 tackles for loss, two sacks, two pass break-ups and six quarterback hurries.
He is the first Bulldog to win SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week since Preston Smith claimed the honor three times last season.
“The first thing I did was praise God,” Brown said. “A lot of people had great games like A.J. (Jefferson). It was just a favor from God and all I can do is continue to pray that it keeps happening.”
MSU will have a heated quarterback competition starting in the spring after Dak Prescott departs.
The Bulldogs nearly had a preview of life without Prescott last weekend when the senior battled a stomach virus and was a game-time decision on whether he would start.
Prescott played only 10 snaps before giving way to backup Nick Fitzgerald but that doesn’t mean the redshirt freshman is the sure fire No. 2 signal caller.
“If something happened to Dak, it’d be a wide open deal,” Mullen said. “I think they are pretty even. (Fitzgerald) has an advantage since Elijah (Staley) was hurt in the spring, so he’s got a couple more reps. If we had to make a change at quarterback, I don’t know that would be the case today.”
Staley was limited to just six reps against Troy as he too battled the same stomach virus as Prescott.
Mullen reiterated his intentions to redshirt junior quarterback Damian Williams and true freshman Nick Tiano this season.
State held tight end Gus Walley (hand), offensive tackle Rufus Warren (ankle) and wide receivers Joe Morrow (shoulder) and Gabe Myles (ankle) out of the Troy game.
Mullen expects to have Walley and Warren back available against Louisiana Tech this week but that Morrow and Myles remain questionable.