How’s this for timing?

Mississippi State’s season-opening opponent will be traveling to Starkville and breaking in a new coach at the same time as Stephen F. Austin State head coach Clint Conque abruptly resigned from his position on Monday. The Bulldogs are set to host the Lumberjacks on Saturday, Sept. 1.

Conque had been suspended by the school for seven weeks following an investigation regarding a potential violation of university policy.

Conque issued this statement on the team’s website announcing his resignation:

“Today I announce my decision to step down as the head football coach at Stephen F. Austin. Although I have remained confident in the ongoing investigation into the potential violation of university policy, as a family of faith and out of respect to my profession, I do not want this situation to be a further distraction to the 2018 football team and season. I deeply care for my players and wish them great success this season and beyond.”

In Conque’s place, Stephen F. Austin defensive coordinator Jeff Byrd has been named interim head coach. The team is coming off a 4-7 record, and a seventh-place Southland Conference finish.

Conque was the head coach of the program for three years and has a career record of 74-55 since 2007. His career Southland record, 50-34 (.595), ranks as the third best all-time in the conference’s history.