A championship standard requires a championship level of patience from a team's fans. Mississippi State University is at the same place now as they were last season, and it is only the first year under head coach Joe Moorhead.
Moorhead said in the press conference Monday the culture he and his staff brought to MSU is one they seek to be consistent between game days and practices.
He also said the fans at MSU are unique because they are not fair-weather fans, they are in it for the long haul.
The uniquely loyal fans are perhaps one of the best qualities about MSU. It does not mean fans cannot voice frustration on social media, but fans need to keep in mind it is just two bad games in the first year with a new head coach.
One of the things Nick Fitzgerald, senior quarterback from Richmond Hills, Georgia, said after the Florida game was how the team was in this same position last year with a 3-2 record.
This year's defense has done a better job at keeping the opponents' scores lower, keeping every opponent's final score at or below 20 points. So, while the defense has done their job in keeping the score in the realm of possible wins, the offense has not capitalized. The team has gone seven quarters without a touchdown.
Dropped passes, poor pass protection and bad field positions all contributed to the offensive struggles. There is not one person to blame, and Moorhead has consistently said he needs to call better plays in order to get the players in the places were they can succeed.
As the offense endures growing pains transitioning from Dan Mullen's style patience is needed. One thing that has not changed though is that the offense is a run-pass option offense, which is why Fitzgerald has gotten more rushes than Kylin Hill and Aeris Williams the past two games.
The upcoming game against Auburn will be a good test to see if Hill and Williams get more touches. They typically average seven yards a carry, but they have only gotten 24 carries combined in comparison to Fitzgerald’s 36 over the past two games, that number can be skewed because Fitzgerald can scramble and it can be counted a rushing attempt.
For the MSU family, the past two weeks have been unpleasant, especially for the players.
However, as with all good things, there is a level of patience needed to achieve greatness. Jackie Sherrill, who won the most games in MSU football history, went 7-5 his first year as head coach.
Moorhead said the team will improve, and he hopes the fans will stick around and go to the games to see this improvement.
“The light at the end of the tunnel is an opening, not an on-coming train,” Moorhead said.