Many Bucs have faced Cowboys' Dak Prescott before
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is facing the Bucs for the first time tonight, but playing in the SEC West in college means he's faced several Bucs players and coaches in the past, so they're well aware of his abilities.
Consider Bucs offensive coordinator and receivers coach Todd Monken, who faced Prescott twice when he was head coach at Southern Miss and Prescott was at Mississippi State. In 2014, Prescott led the Bulldogs to a 49-0 win, throwing for 283 yards and four touchdowns. A year later, Mississippi State won again, 34-16, with Prescott passing for 237 yards and two touchdowns.
"That wasn't much fun then," Monken said this week. "I can tell you he's a heck of a player and a heck of a competitor. You could see that way back when, so he'll be a real challenge. One thing that is is apparent on film ... is just his poise. I've always thought he's had tremendous poise."
Other Bucs who have faced Prescott before ...
-- LB Kwon Alexander beat Mississippi State with LSU by a 59-26 score in 2013, getting four tackles, but Prescott got his revenge in 2014. Prescott threw for two touchdowns and ran for 105 yards and another score in a 34-29 Bulldogs win, with Alexander getting 13 tackles and a forced fumble.
-- WR Mike Evans beat Prescott with Texas A&M in 2013 in a 51-41 shootout -- Prescott threw for two touchdowns and rushed for 154 yards, while Evans had 116 yards in the victory. Evans also beat Mississippi State in 2012, but Prescott barely played.
-- DE DaVonte Lambert lost to Mississippi State in 2014 and 2015 when he was at Auburn, getting seven tackles in the 2014 game.
-- CB Jude Adeji-Barimah, who finishes his four-game suspension and can return next week, nearly saw Bowling Green upset Mississippi State in 2013. The Bulldogs prevailed 21-20, with Prescott rushing for 135 yards and two scores, including a 75-yard touchdown run.
-- Safeties coach Brett Maxie was an assistant at Vanderbilt in 2014 when Prescott and Mississippi State handed the Commodores a 51-0 win, going 16-for-21 with three passing touchdowns and anothe rushing.
-- DE Channing Ward is only on the practice squad, but he helped Ole Miss hand Mississippi State an upset loss -- the Rebels were ranked No. 18 in 2014 when the Bulldogs were ranked No. 4. He had three tackles in a 31-17 win, and helped Ole Miss win again in 2015 as well.
-- WR Josh Huff faced Prescott this season when he was with the Eagles -- the Cowboys pulled out a 29-23 overtime win, with Prescott throwing the game-tying touchdown with three minutes left in regulation, then the game-winning score in overtime. Huff had a 53-yard kickoff return for Philadelphia in the loss.
-- DE Noah Spence was a teammate of Prescott's in the Senior Bowl in January, helping the South squad to victory. Prescott was the game MVP, while Spence had a sack.