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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.

Confirmed Cases: 98190

Reported Deaths: 2969
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7179161
DeSoto567863
Harrison391774
Jackson355370
Rankin334679
Madison333190
Lee280471
Forrest252476
Jones251580
Washington226379
Lafayette220840
Lauderdale2077126
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Oktibbeha181152
Lamar174336
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Neshoba1597104
Panola151231
Sunflower148546
Leflore142681
Warren141550
Pontotoc129316
Pike124953
Monroe124669
Copiah119933
Scott117727
Coahoma116730
Lincoln112353
Marshall111821
Holmes110060
Grenada109836
Yazoo106631
Simpson105047
Tate101238
Union100224
Leake96338
Adams94537
Wayne91221
Pearl River90953
Prentiss87918
Marion87136
Itawamba85021
Alcorn83211
Covington83023
George78413
Newton77824
Tallahatchie77724
Winston74619
Tishomingo70338
Chickasaw69224
Tippah68718
Attala67225
Clarke61048
Walthall60426
Clay59918
Hancock59522
Jasper58115
Noxubee55816
Smith54515
Calhoun52712
Tunica49915
Montgomery46920
Claiborne46516
Yalobusha44214
Lawrence43714
Perry42821
Greene38917
Quitman3875
Stone37913
Humphreys37715
Jefferson Davis34611
Amite34210
Webster33913
Carroll32312
Wilkinson30718
Kemper29115
Sharkey26614
Jefferson2429
Benton2333
Franklin1973
Choctaw1876
Issaquena1053
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 137564

Reported Deaths: 2399
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19938351
Mobile13507293
Montgomery8866185
Tuscaloosa8837118
Madison798179
Shelby607449
Lee597161
Baldwin560650
Marshall397543
Calhoun355644
Etowah354845
Morgan333428
Houston293921
Elmore271948
DeKalb244321
St. Clair235936
Walker235485
Talladega217830
Limestone214420
Cullman191920
Dallas179826
Franklin179130
Autauga178727
Russell17683
Lauderdale175133
Colbert167726
Blount162115
Escambia161624
Jackson159712
Chilton159530
Covington140727
Dale140344
Coffee13716
Pike121611
Chambers117542
Tallapoosa117185
Clarke110316
Marion97529
Butler91740
Barbour8867
Winston75013
Marengo72620
Pickens67014
Randolph66613
Lowndes65927
Bibb65810
Hale64928
Geneva6444
Lawrence63425
Cherokee61713
Bullock60714
Clay5918
Monroe5908
Washington56012
Crenshaw54332
Perry5426
Conecuh53911
Wilcox53211
Henry5105
Macon48318
Fayette4689
Sumter43719
Cleburne3945
Lamar3822
Choctaw35112
Greene30515
Coosa1743
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