SEC Media Days: At times, Mississippi State's offense made Joe Moorhead sick. That has to change in 2019
HOOVER, Ala. — Joe Moorhead arrived in Starkville talking a big game. Not only did he challenge his Mississippi State players to get their fingers sized for the championship rings they were about to receive, he told quarterback Nick Fitzgerald to get ready for a trip to New York City for the Heisman Trophy ceremony.
There were times during the season where Mississippi State’s offense made Moorhead look like a prophet. At other times, his offense looked completely overwhelmed competing in the league’s toughest conference.
In Mississippi State’s 8 wins, the team averaged 41.6 points per game. In the 5 losses? The team averaged only 7.6 points per game.
The seesaw results from Moorhead’s offense during his debut season was a key topic during Mississippi State’s appearance at 2019 SEC Media Days.
In fact, Moorhead claimed that his offense’s poor showings last fall literally kept him up at night.
“Our 4 wins in the SEC, we scored 50 against Arkansas, 35 against Ole Miss, we were in the high 20s against Auburn and Texas A&M, then the 4 — I wake up in a cold sweat, puke thinking about how we performed offensively,” Moorhead said. “We didn’t do well. You can’t have games like Kansas State, some other nonconference games where you are scoring 40 or 50 and then have the performances like we did against teams that all finished with 10 wins, in the top 10, all played in New Year’s Day bowls.”
So how does the offense correct the issues with consistency? For the team’s starting center, it all comes down not allowing the overlooked aspects of their game to go unnoticed.
“Doing the little things, doing the little things in this league will help you a lot,” Darryl Williams said at Media Days. “When you do the little things right, bigger things will come. So, I’m looking forward to that. I feel like our passing game improved and I feel like (Keytaon Thompson), Tommy Stevens are working their tails off, even Jayden Maden, the young guy, are working their tails off.”
In Farrod Green’s eyes, the experience gained from last season will pay off for the offense.
“It’s our second year in the offense, everyone’s confident. … It’s going to be a huge year for us offensively and we have to work on being more consistent, preaching to each other and holding each other accountable,” the team’s starting tight end added.
That last point was something Moorhead also conveyed when asked about the offense’s lack of consistency last season. Explosive plays in the passing game were few and far between. The goal, in Year 2, is for them to happen more frequently.
“We need to continue to run the ball well, we need to improve the efficiency and explosiveness of the pass game and I think that all ties together, not just doing the whats but the hows and the whys in Year 2 of the system offensively,” Moorhead said.