After Mississippi State University’s season-opener victory at home where they won 63-6, MSU’s (1-0) football team began preparing for their next game against Kansas State University (1-0).
This upcoming game indicates what fans can expect from the Bulldogs this season. Starting quarterback Nick Fitzgerald, a senior from Richmond Hills, Georgia, will play again, following his one-game suspension.
The Bulldogs' coaching staff has worked diligently in order to prepare the team for what lies ahead in Manhattan, Kansas, when they face the K-State Wildcats. Quarterback coach and passing game coordinator Andrew Breiner said Fitzgerald has prepared to play, even with the suspension last week.
"Nick did a great job and prepared as if he was going to play in the game, he did that in order to help Keytaon. He’s (Fitzgerald) excited," Breiner said.
At last Tuesday’s press conference, questions were raised asking if excitement from Fitzgerald is good for the quarterback.
"It’s like what coach Moorhead talks about all the time, 'Have emotions without being emotional, don’t let your emotions drive or change what you’re doing either physically or mentally,'" Breiner said. "I think QB or not QB, this is a game of football. You want guys who are passionate, you want guys who are excited to hit the field everyday for practice."
So far, the Bulldogs are praised for this season's defense, and at times, this over-shadows their offense. Assistant head coach Charles Huff explained the offense tries to find the weakness of the opposing defenses and use this to their advantage.
"This offense gets the ball in space, this offense gets the ball into the hands of playmakers," Huff said. "We’re not in the offense who is going to run the ball, who are going to pass the ball. This offense is going to take advantage of this defense’s deficiencies... It complements each other."
Game one brought a lot of insight to the team as well. Offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Luke Getsy believes the team played well, but said there is always room to improve, especially in the execution.
"The execution wasn’t as good as we want it to be, but it was good to see the guys get under the lights and shine the way they did," Getsy said.
Kansas State’s defense only allowed 73 rushing yards against the University of South Dakota, so the offensive line might have their work cut out for them going into the game, and Huff recognizes this.
"They are a really good group, all the respect in the world for coach Snyder, they do a really good job, they play physical, they’re tough, they’re sound," Huff said. "We’re going to do an unbelievable job on our O-line on creating space."
Both receivers and offensive linemen showed what they can do against Stephen F. Austin, and Getsy is hopeful they can keep it up as they go into Saturday’s game.
"Some guys made some really nice plays, some tough catches," Getsy said. "I thought the offensive line started off the season well, showed that physicality that we’re going to need then as we move forward, it was a good start."
Kick-off for this game begins at 11 a.m. Sept. 8 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kansas, and ESPN will broadcast it.