As Mississippi State University ran onto the field, running back Kylin Hill, a sophomore from Columbus, ran with a teal flag reading "No one fights alone" in honor of Alex Wilcox.
"First and foremost, I think it was incredible that we could honor Alex Wilcox tonight," head coach Joe Moorhead said. "For everything that she meant to this university and to this athletic department and to her team, we are very proud to be apart of that."
MSU came to play with a mission: to play for the former softball player who passed away this summer from ovarian cancer. They did just that as they won 56-10 over the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Nick Fitzgerald, senior quarterback from Richmond Hills, Georgia, threw for 243 yards on 14/21 passes for two touchdowns and ran for four touchdowns. He mentioned how much Wilcox meant to the athletic community at MSU.
"She was an inspiration, and a huge part of the athletic culture here at State," Fitzgerald said. "Honoring her was a great thing to do, we carried the flag with ‘No one fights alone,’ and it gave us a little more motivation to play."
Fitzgerald and the team came out and scored 35 points in the first half. They played for a young lady who, as Fitzgerald said, loved the game and was always happy no matter what.
Tim Washington, a junior linebacker from Yazoo City, had nine tackles against Louisiana Lafayette. He said it was a great feeling to play for Wilcox, and it was unique to runout on the field with Hill holding her flag.
"It was a great feeling to play for her today," Washington said. "It was special because Kylin is number eight, and she was number eight. It really was special to see him run out with the flag in praise of her."
Heading into week four, MSU is undefeated (3-0), and the players on the defensive side of the ball believe they can still improve.
One of the defenders who believes he can improve is Cameron Dantzler, a sophomore cornerback from Hammond, Louisiana. He almost made an interception, but Jonathan Abrams stole it from him as they came down to the ground.
“I felt like I had it, but as I was rolling over he snatched it out of my hands,” Dantzler said. "I just felt like that is my fault, that is something I should work on is possession of the ball, catching the ball and then coming down with it."
Aeris Williams came in and made a huge impact in the game, as he rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown. Moorhead said Williams earned his playing time, and he was happy with how Williams responded after not seeing the field against Kansas State University.
"I was very excited, he came back, and had a very good week of practice," Moorhead said. "He earned his carries and earned his time. Kylin got a little dinged up. Between those two, it’s more of a one-two punch."
Some game notes to consider:
Hill and Jamal Peters both left the game with injuries on their lower bodied. Both will undergo injury evaluations on Sunday, and Moorhead will make the information known at Monday’s press conference.
MSU gained 607 yards tonight, the 7th 600 total yard game in school history and the second under Moorhead.
MSU will play the University of Kentucky (3-0) at 6 p.m. on Saturday in Lexington, Kentucky. ESPN2 will broadcast MSU's first SEC matchup of the season.