Mississippi State notables poised to shine brightly on sports’ biggest night
Dak Prescott, Vic Schaefer, Morgan William, and the Mississippi State Women’s Basketball team cap off their historic seasons with several ESPYS nominations.
People like rooting for the underdog. If the underdog has a chance to do the unthinkable the sheer enormity of the challenge can propel the underdog to superhuman heights.
David vs. Goliath
There was no question who the underdog was when Mississippi St. and UConn met in the Final Four. Even die-hard fans didn’t give the Bulldogs much of a shot against the mighty Huskies. In fact, many believed UConn would make short work of MSU. The Final Four was supposed to be a stepping stone on the way to their 113th consecutive win and their 5th straight NCAA Championship.
Cue the cheesy Hollywood music and pop the popcorn for this David vs Goliath remake. The Bulldogs pulled off one of the biggest upsets in sports’ history when they defeated the Huskies.
From the opening tip, it was clear the Bulldogs had plans for Geno Auriemma and his undefeated UConn Huskies.
Dak Prescott, a Mississippi St alum, joined the crowd in American Airlines Arena perched on the edge of their seats, suspended in disbelief, cheering the Bulldogs to victory
UConn’s historic streak ended at 111-1 the Final Four on a buzzer beater. The overtime win earned them a place in the history books and a chance to even the scales.
Morgan William (aka Itty Bitty,) and the Bulldogs captured the nation’s heart with a clutch shot, and garnered Mississippi State two nominations for ESPYS. Vic Schaefer and his team picked up the nomination for Best Upset. Morgan William pulled in a nomination for Best Play after making the shot that ended Goliath’s streak.
Dak Prescott lands ESPYS nomination as he prepares for his second NFL season
The Prescott era began a lot sooner than expected. Tony Romo suffered a season-ending injury during preseason. Prescott took over the signal calling duties and lead the Dallas Cowboys to the No.1 seed in the NFC after going an impressive 13-3 in the regular season.
According to Alec Nathan of Bleacher Report, the 4th round draft pick out of Mississippi State completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 3,667 yards, 23 touchdowns, and four interceptions.
Prescott beat out teammate Ezekiel Elliott, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, Los Angeles Chargers edge rusher Joey Bosa and Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones to be named the Pepsi Rookie of the Year.
According to NFL.com’s analysis, Prescott set NFL records for completion percentage, touchdown-to-interception ratio and passer rating (104.9) among rookie signal-callers. His 13 regular-season wins also tied Ben Roethlisberger for the most ever by a rookie quarterback.
Prescott hopes to avoid the sophomore jinx and lead the Cowboys back to the playoffs after picking one more piece of hardware. Prescott received a nomination for Best Breakthrough Athlete for his rookie season in Dallas.
Mississippi State Bulldogs 2017 ESPYS Nominations
There’s still time to vote for your favorite Bulldogs:
Best Upset: Mississippi State def. UConn in NCAA Women’s Final Four
Breakthrough Athlete: Dak Prescott (Mississippi State)
Best Play: Morgan William’s (Mississippi State) buzzer-beater vs. UConn in women’s basketball
2017 ESPY Host Peyton Manning (Tennessee)
Comeback Athlete: Candace Parker (Tennessee)
Best WNBA Player: Candace Parker (Tennessee)
MLB Player: Max Scherzer (Missouri)
Best Athlete (Woman): Candace Parker (Tennessee)
Best Team: South Carolina women’s basketball
Female College Athlete: Kelly Barnhill (Florida)
Check out the complete list of nominees and cast your vote.