BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (MSU Athletics/WTVA) - Following Mississippi State’s 23-9 win Saturday against No. 8 Auburn, a pair of Bulldogs were named Players of the Week by the Southeastern Conference on Monday.
Senior quarterback Nick Fitzgerald was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week for the fifth time in his career, which tied Dak Prescott for most in MSU history, while senior defensive end Montez Sweat was named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week for an SEC record-tying fifth time.
The duo helped MSU earn the program’s fourth win over a top-10 team at Davis Wade Stadium in its last six tries since 2014.
In addition, Fitzgerald was named to the Davey O'Brien Award's "Great 8" list for Week 6 by the award’s selection committee. Joining Fitzgerald on the “Great 8” list are Texas’ Sam Ehlinger, Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, Utah State’s Jordan Love, Iowa State’s Brock Purdy, Middle Tennessee’s Brent Stockstill, Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Northwestern’s Clayton Thorson.
The winner of the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback of the Week Award, which will be one of the week's "Great 8" quarterbacks, will be announced Wednesday.
Fitzgerald accounted for 264 yards of total offense and two touchdowns in Saturday’s win. He shattered Tim Tebow’s SEC career record for rushing yards by a quarterback, rushing for 195 yards and scoring both of the Bulldogs’ touchdowns. His 195 yards on the ground were the most by an FBS quarterback versus a Power 5 team this year and marked the 17th time he’s eclipsed the 100-yard mark in a game (tied Anthony Dixon for the school record).
Fitzgerald now sits at 2,999 rushing yards and 40 rushing touchdowns for his career.
Sweat put together a highlight tape Saturday, posting a career-best three sacks for a loss of 27 yards, forcing one fumble and adding two quarterback hurries that forced incompletions. He became the first Bulldog with three or more sacks in a game since Willie Evans had three versus Tulane on Sept. 17, 2005. He was only the third Bulldog in the last 20 years to achieve the feat and the first in a conference game since Ed Smith versus Arkansas on Nov. 21, 1998. All three of Sweat’s sacks came in the second half.
Sweat now has 18 sacks for his career, which is seventh in MSU career annals. For the season, Sweat leads the SEC and ranks No. 2 nationally in sacks with 7.5. His five SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors are the most in MSU history and tied for the most in SEC history with Kentucky’s Denzil Ware (2015-17).
State (4-2, 1-2) returned to the Associated Press Top 25 poll coming in at No. 24 on Sunday. The Bulldogs are receiving votes in the Amway Coaches poll. State earned 136 points in the AP Top 25 and is one of eight SEC teams in the poll, joining top-ranked Alabama, No. 2 Georgia, No. 13 LSU, No. 14 Florida, No. 18 Kentucky and No. 21 Auburn and No. 22 Texas A&M. MSU is ranked for the 13th time in 14 weeks dating back to last season.
2018 MSU SEC Weekly Honors
Nick Fitzgerald, Sr., QB
SEC Offensive Player of the Week (10/8)
Kylin Hill, So., RB
SEC Offensive Player of the Week (9/10)
Elgton Jenkins, Sr., OL
SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week (9/17)
Montez Sweat, Sr., DE
SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week (9/10)
SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week (10/8)
Nick Fitzgerald’s Career SEC Weekly Honors
SEC Offensive Player of the Week (11/7/2016)
SEC Offensive Player of the Week (11/28/2016)
SEC Offensive Player of the Week (9/18/2017)
SEC Offensive Player of the Week (10/30/2017)
SEC Offensive Player of the Week (10/8/2018)
Montez Sweat’s Career SEC Weekly Honors
SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week (10/21/2017)
SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week (10/30/2017)
SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week (11/20/2017)
SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week (9/10/2018)
SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week (10/8/2018)