Jameon Lewis was expected to be the go to guy for quarterback Dak Prescott this season.
The senior Mississippi State wide receiver finished last year with a team-high 64 catches for 923 yards and five touchdowns. He finished the 2013 season on a high note with nine catches for 220 yards in a 44-7 win over Rice in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
But it has been a very different year for the Taylorsville native. He missed the Texas A&M and Auburn games with a right leg injury. He played against Kentucky and Arkansas in the last two weeks, but was targeted just twice and had one catch for only two yards. Lewis has 16 catches for 225 yards and only one touchdown this year.
In his absence, other Bulldog receivers have stepped up, including Fred Ross. The sophomore has 15 catches for 265 yards and three touchdowns this year.
“I feeling good, I’m healthy,” Ross said. “We’re undefeated so far, so I’m feeling good. I’m just doing my job, trying to get better every day and becoming a better player.
“I know what I’m doing this year. Last year I was out there, I kind of knew what I was doing and I kind of didn’t. Now I can play full speed.”
He had four catches for a career-high 107 yards and the game-winning 69-yard touchdown pass from Prescott as the top-ranked Bulldogs rallied to beat Arkansas 17-10 last Saturday.
Lewis is the slot receiver, and Ross has been working there some this season, and got extensive playing time in the game against Arkansas.
“Usually they key on Jameon,” Ross said. “Jameon’s our leader, but we all got guys on our team that can make plays, but that’s what we do.”
Prescott has seen several receivers develop with Lewis on the shelf. Along with Ross’ production, sophomore De’Runnya Wilson has a team-high 22 catches for 367 yards and six touchdowns, redshirt freshman and former Starkville High School standout Gabe Myles has 15 catches for 107 yards and sophomore Fred Brown has 13 catches for 241 yards and one score.
“I’m happy for them because that’s something that goes back to the offseason and throwing in the summer,” Prescott said. “Those are guys that stayed in after (practice) asking me to throw some more routes to them. Guys are really just stepping up and making plays. That’s good for their confidence and going forward.”