MSU football holds first scrimmage of spring

State will practice twice next week (Tuesday and Thursday) before scrimmaging for the second time this spring next Saturday.

Posted: Apr 7, 2018 7:10 PM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – Physicality on the lines of scrimmage and efficient drives were on display during the first Mississippi State spring football scrimmage under first-year head coach Joe Moorhead on a brisk Saturday at the Leo Seal Jr. Complex.


Temperatures hovered in the 40s all day as the Bulldogs worked on all three phases including several possessions of first team offense versus first team defense.

“I’m as I always say, pleased but not satisfied,” Moorhead said. “It was the first opportunity to come out in a live scrimmage situation. And a couple of our goals, we talk about dominating situational football and competing. I thought we did those two things.”

Sophomore quarterback Keytaon Thompson took most of the snaps as senior starter Nick Fitzgerald sat out during live periods as he continues to recover from an ankle injury sustained in November. Fitzgerald participated during the 7-on-7 portion of the scrimmage.

“He’s getting a ton of reps, and this is incredibly valuable for him,” Moorhead said of Thompson. “He made a bunch of good plays today, and made some decisions he’d like to have back. But you can see a guy that is very smart.”

Thompson threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Osirus Mitchell and a 23-yard scoring strike to Jamal Couch as part of the second team offense versus the second team defense. Senior running back Aeris Williams scored on a 2-yard run during goal line situational offense versus defense.

Bob Shoop’s defense put pressure on the quarterback all day. Defensive ends Chauncey Rivers, Kobe Jones, Gerri Green, Willie Gay (twice) and Tim Washington each registered tackles for loss. Washington added a spectacular interception and returned it 50 yards during the second drive of the scrimmage featuring the No. 2 offense vs. the No. 2 defense. Defensive backs Chris Rayford and Stephen Adegoke each tallied an interception.

State will practice twice next week (Tuesday and Thursday) before scrimmaging for the second time this spring next Saturday. All practices and the scrimmage are closed to the public.

Moorhead and the Bulldogs are seeking to shatter a school record for spring game attendance on Saturday, April 21 for the Maroon and White Game in Davis Wade Stadium. Kickoff is 3 p.m. CT and admission is free.

Head Coach Joe Moorhead
April 7, 2018

On the scrimmage …

“I’m as I always say, pleased but not satisfied. It was the first opportunity to come out in a live scrimmage situation. And a couple of our goals, we talk about dominating situational football and competing. I thought we did those two things. And then improving every practice. Ultimately the offensive coordinator wants the offense to do well. The defensive coordinator wants the defense to do well. The special teams coordinator wants the special teams to do well. But as the head coach you want to see a good give-and-take throughout the course of practice. The offense making plays, the defense making plays. And I thought we did that. Defensively we did a great job of creating turnovers. The offense moved the ball well between the 30s. We’d get down there in the red zone and we had a couple of turnovers, so that was great from the defense, not so much from the offense. The other side, I thought we ran it well. We had some explosive passes and ultimately put the ball in the end zone a couple of times. So I thought for the first day in a live scrimmage situation it was good work by the guys.”

On the lines of scrimmage …

“I think it’s a great battle, and I think it’s a microcosm of what we see every day in practice. I tell our guys if one side is constantly kicking the other side but throughout the course of practice, you’re in for a long season. You know, we want our practice to be like a 15-round heavyweight bout that goes to the card. And that’s it’s been, it’s either by period or by day these guys have been competing and getting after each other. Ultimately realizing it’s more about the team than it is about one side of the ball or the individual. So like I said, this is just a representation of what we’ve done all spring.”

On Nick Fitzgerald in 7-on-7…

“When we scrimmage that’s what we do. We start it off with 7-on-7 just to get the guys’ legs running and get moving a little bit. And we want Nick to get those reps. Every time we scrimmage we will have 7-on-7 before the live part of it.”

On Jamal Peters and Marquiss Spencer …

“Jamal had a family issue. He had to go on home and take care of. He and Marquiss Spencer both had family issues.”

On Stephen Guidry …

“Guidry is taking care of some stuff off the field. He’s handling some business off the field, and we’ll get him back here on Tuesday.”

On the offense’s tempo …

“I think a misconception of what we do, and you hear it of teams with a no-huddle offense every play is run at a breakneck speed. Our offense is more about running the right play against the look presented, than a bad play quickly. So we can go as fast as we need to go or we can slow down and make sure we’re in the right look. I think you saw probably a little bit more of our check with me in three stuff today, than you did the fast stuff. But we could do all three and excel at all.”

On Keytaon Thompson taking a lot of reps with the No. 1s…

“He’s getting a ton of reps, and this is incredibly valuable for him. He made a bunch of good plays today, and made some decisions he’d like to have back. But you can see a guy that is very smart. Coach (Andrew) Breiner is doing a good job of teaching the offense. And a live arm, he can make all the throws and certainly can run as well. These are reps that are tremendously valuable in his development.”

On the installation of the offense …

“This past week we saw it build-up on them a little bit. You get to a certain point in camp where you are almost done with installation, which we are. We only have a few more things to add up, but it becomes more of a mental issue than a physical issue. We talk about how well we prepare, the effort we give. But ultimately football is a game of precision. And right now I’d have to say we’re in the right church but the wrong pew. We’re doing the right thing but we’re not doing it with enough precision to execute at a level we’re going to win the SEC. But we’ve got a way to go. We don’t need to be where we’re going to be on September 1st. We talk about just improve every practice and that’s what we’ve got to do. Just keep stacking good days on top of each other.”

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313166

Reported Deaths: 7228
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21496257
Hinds20294414
Harrison17814309
Rankin13573278
Jackson13411246
Madison10066217
Lee9962173
Jones8364163
Forrest7649152
Lauderdale7181240
Lowndes6370145
Lamar621686
Lafayette6171118
Washington5323133
Bolivar4797132
Oktibbeha461498
Panola4561105
Pearl River4499145
Marshall4397103
Warren4380121
Pontotoc419572
Monroe4100133
Union409076
Neshoba4026176
Lincoln3950110
Hancock377786
Leflore3487125
Sunflower335790
Tate332484
Pike3301105
Scott315373
Alcorn311968
Yazoo310769
Itawamba299477
Copiah296465
Simpson294788
Coahoma294379
Tippah287768
Prentiss279560
Adams269582
Marion268880
Leake266273
Wayne262341
Grenada260386
Covington256381
George246848
Newton246061
Winston226881
Tishomingo225967
Jasper220848
Attala214173
Chickasaw207157
Holmes188673
Clay184754
Stone182033
Tallahatchie178140
Clarke177879
Calhoun170132
Yalobusha163337
Smith162234
Walthall133845
Greene130333
Lawrence128323
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry125938
Amite122842
Carroll121728
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis106932
Tunica104826
Claiborne102230
Benton99125
Humphreys96133
Kemper95428
Franklin83623
Quitman80216
Choctaw76118
Wilkinson66930
Jefferson65428
Sharkey50317
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 530325

Reported Deaths: 10966
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson763971520
Mobile40908804
Madison34717503
Tuscaloosa25730452
Montgomery24314588
Shelby23401249
Baldwin21107307
Lee15856171
Calhoun14488314
Morgan14282279
Etowah13819353
Marshall12210223
Houston10557280
Elmore10044205
Limestone9954150
Cullman9649193
St. Clair9644242
Lauderdale9419241
DeKalb8825185
Talladega8214175
Walker7223277
Autauga6918108
Jackson6804112
Blount6651137
Colbert6292134
Coffee5506119
Dale4828111
Russell440638
Chilton4279112
Franklin425582
Covington4118118
Tallapoosa4019152
Escambia393276
Chambers3559123
Dallas3547151
Clarke350861
Marion3113100
Pike310577
Lawrence299898
Winston274072
Bibb260464
Marengo249264
Geneva249077
Pickens234160
Barbour230757
Hale222677
Butler215969
Fayette212062
Henry188744
Cherokee184445
Randolph179941
Monroe177340
Washington167039
Macon158750
Clay156156
Crenshaw152057
Cleburne148741
Lamar141934
Lowndes138653
Wilcox127030
Bullock123041
Conecuh110129
Perry107526
Coosa107128
Sumter104332
Greene92334
Choctaw60424
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