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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.

Cases: 255125

Reported Deaths: 5574
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17257180
Hinds16331322
Harrison13567194
Rankin10804212
Jackson10453184
Lee8864141
Madison8314164
Jones6434112
Forrest6009120
Lauderdale5902186
Lowndes5405116
Lafayette499193
Lamar488565
Washington4803124
Bolivar3997109
Oktibbeha395381
Panola372379
Pontotoc367853
Monroe3558105
Warren354898
Union345960
Marshall344066
Neshoba3396152
Pearl River3301100
Leflore3041107
Lincoln298085
Sunflower286671
Hancock274459
Tate273162
Alcorn265453
Itawamba263759
Pike263778
Scott248046
Yazoo247056
Prentiss246552
Tippah243050
Copiah242749
Coahoma241054
Simpson236467
Leake231765
Grenada219471
Covington214672
Marion213073
Adams207070
Wayne202932
Winston201666
George199839
Attala194259
Newton193444
Tishomingo189361
Chickasaw185044
Jasper172736
Holmes168767
Clay159833
Stone144721
Tallahatchie141934
Clarke139862
Calhoun136521
Smith121424
Yalobusha117834
Walthall112336
Noxubee110822
Greene110429
Montgomery109834
Carroll104821
Lawrence102917
Perry102631
Amite98426
Webster92824
Tunica87321
Claiborne86625
Jefferson Davis85326
Humphreys83124
Benton82023
Kemper77620
Quitman6968
Franklin66715
Choctaw60913
Wilkinson58725
Jefferson54919
Sharkey43117
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 426543

Reported Deaths: 6126
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62752920
Mobile30551554
Madison27303186
Tuscaloosa20835267
Montgomery19192305
Shelby18693114
Baldwin16513183
Lee12603101
Morgan12321113
Etowah11805168
Calhoun11206200
Marshall10236107
Houston8681148
Cullman8094105
Limestone807474
Elmore7923101
DeKalb771597
Lauderdale763183
St. Clair7599120
Talladega6224108
Walker5930174
Jackson583741
Colbert535473
Blount532083
Autauga522755
Coffee446256
Dale399781
Franklin368148
Chilton337865
Russell335910
Covington330168
Escambia321342
Dallas305196
Chambers288669
Clarke283133
Tallapoosa2630107
Pike251329
Marion247350
Lawrence245247
Winston229035
Bibb217047
Geneva203335
Marengo200829
Pickens196931
Hale177442
Barbour173836
Fayette171226
Butler170758
Cherokee160930
Henry155021
Monroe147317
Randolph141535
Washington138326
Clay127045
Crenshaw120244
Cleburne118423
Lamar118419
Macon116835
Lowndes111535
Wilcox103621
Bullock99728
Perry98219
Conecuh95120
Sumter89526
Greene76223
Coosa60515
Choctaw51524
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