It wasn’t as lopsided as Mississippi State’s Week 1 win over Southern Miss, but the Bulldogs improved to 2-0 in 2014 with a 47-34 win over UAB Saturday at Davis Wade Stadium.

Let’s grade Mississippi State in the three facets of the game: offense, defense and special teams.

Offense: A-

Mississippi State did exactly what it wanted to on offense Saturday, and that’s run the football. Josh Robinson and Dak Prescott combined to carry the ball 38 times for 235 yards and two touchdowns, which forced the UAB defense to sell-out on stopping the run. Prescott took advantage by throwing four touchdown passes for the second week in a row while also throwing for more than 200 yards. The problem is, he completed just 48 percent of his passes, which will not get it done against most defenses in the SEC. The Bulldogs’ rushing attack is right where Dan Mullen wants it to be, but Prescott must be a more accurate thrower in obvious passing situations for SEC defenses to respect that element of the offense. Mississippi State is rewarded for its 47-point effort with an A, but is given a minus for Prescott’s low completion rate.

Defense: C+

The Bulldogs’ defense did not look like the same “psycho defense” that shut out Southern Miss in Week 1, allowing the Blazers to score 34 points including three touchdowns of longer than 75 yards. There were a few nice plays, such as Preston Smith’s sensational pick-six, but all in all this performance left something to be desired. Mississippi State must play sharper in the secondary in SEC play if it hopes to compete with the rest of the SEC West. One positive from Saturday’s performance was the Bulldogs’ run defense. UAB managed just 113 yards on the ground one week after racking up 338 against Kent State. Mississippi State continues to look fierce up front, which will be of use in conference play. MSU earns a C for an average effort, with a plus for Smith’s second straight game with an interception.

Special teams: C

To break this grade down further, the Bulldogs’ earned an A in punting (thanks to Devon Bell), a B in the return game and an F in the place kicking game. Kickers Westin Graves and Evan Sobiesk missed back-to-back extra points in the first half to cost MSU two points on the scoreboard. Those two points did not break the Bulldogs’ backs, but they did frustrate Mississippi State faithful waiting for one of the two kickers to separate himself from the other. Bell was phenomenal as usual, booting eight punts at 45.5 yards per punt. He landed two of his kicks inside the 20 yard line and did not have a touchback in the game. The Bulldogs averaged more than 24 yards per kickoff return, but took a few kickoffs out of the end zone that would have been better off going for touchbacks. After it all balances out, the Mississippi State special teams was just average, Thus, they earn a C.