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Fitzgerald suspended for MSU opener

Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead. Photo courtesy of Supertalk Mississippi

Mississippi State will be without their starting QB in their season opener on Saturday.

During a press conference earlier today, head coach Joe Moorhead announced that Nick Fitzgerald won’t play against Stephen F. Austin due a violation of team rules that occurred back in March, however, he did not elaborate on the specifics surrounding the incident.

Despite the suspension, Moorhead hasn’t lost any faith in his senior QB.

“Fitzgerald’s violation occurred in March, and since that time he has been elected team captain. He had an awesome spring ball, summer conditioning and preseason camp. He’s been a great leader and teammate.” Moorhead said.

Backup QB Keytaon Thompson will fill in just as he did following Fitzgerald’s injury in last year’s Egg Bowl. Thomspon began to settle in during the later stages of the rivalry game, and in MSU’s Taxslayer bowl win over Louisville, Thompson rushed for three touchdowns.

It appears that Moorhead is comfortable with Thompson stepping in and being able to run his system. During the press conference, Moorhead spoke highly of the sophomore quarterback and stated that the team is behind him.

“I think the guys have a tremendous belief in Thompson,” Moorhead said. He had the ability to go into a bowl game with an interim staff and against a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback. He brought the team to a great win in the bowl game. One thing we’ve built and fostered is the next-man-in mentality. On top of what Thompson brings as a player, our team has a belief that we will handle prosperity and adversity. When you’re given adversity like this, you need to bow your back, and you get your chin off your chest. You trust that he’s a good player, and we will give him an opportunity to be successful. He’s going to play great in the game.”

In addition to Fitzgerald, DT Cory Thomas has also been suspended for the opener.

State finished 9-4 in 2017, and they’ll open up the 2018 season against the Lumberjacks at home with kickoff set for 6 p.m.

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