After beating Arkansas, Joe Moorhead discusses decision to start Tommy Stevens, MSU's QB plans moving forward
Joe Moorhead really needed a win on Saturday and his Mississippi State team delivered in a big way by beating Arkansas 54-24 on the road. Saturday’s win was Moorhead’s second road SEC win of his career.
With the win, Mississippi State improved to 4-5 on the season and took a big step toward returning to a bowl game.
The biggest news for the Bulldogs entering the game was the fact senior Tommy Stevens regained his starting spot while freshman Garrett Shrader did not play in the game. Stevens had not started a game for MSU since the team’s loss at Tennessee back on Oct. 12.
Following his team’s latest win, Moorhead met with the media to discuss the game. Here are the highlights of those comments:
on the decision to start Tommy Stevens:
“Garrett had some general health issues throughout the week. On Thursday, decided for the kids, the offense and the team, it was in our best interest to start Tommy for this week.”
Is Shrader’s issue long term?
“I don’t believe so but we will continue to monitor him on Sunday.”
on QB situation moving forward:
“Yeah, it hasn’t been easy. This is a good complication, I guess. We have two guys that are playing well. We will get back, watch the film, have a bye week to digest it, the good news is we have two weeks before we have to make a decision. At times, both have played very well. It’s good to have two.”
on the offense’s impressive day on the ground:
“We’ve said a bunch of times, the success of our offense is predicated on our ability to run the ball successfully. When that happens, teams have to support their run (defense) with secondary force, linebacker force, pressure and that creates one on ones on the perimeter and allows us to take shots down the field.”
on ending the losing streak, does that provide a relief?
“I guess in a certain respect it is (a relief) but in this conference and Division I football in general, wins are so hard to come by, we try to put the losses behind us and move ahead to the next game. So, I guess in a general sense it is, also appreciate that our kids have been able to keep that single-mindedness and focus and not carry some of those losses with us into the next week.”
on if his team played a complete game today:
“I think so, I mean there’s going to be spots, like any coach or staff, where you go back and want to correct some things but for the most part, I thought we jumped out fast, we talk about starting fast and we did finish strong. But as coaches, we are always going to linger and worry about the things we need to correct and enjoy the things we did well but I do think it was as close to a 60-minute game as we’ve played this season.”