Mississippi State has found itself as a bystander to the latest SEC controversy.

LSU linebacker Devin White was flagged for targeting Bulldogs quarterback Nick Fitzgerald late in last Saturday’s game, an infraction that also earned him a suspension for the first half of the No. 4 Tigers’ next game against No. 1 Alabama. The questionable call has launched conspiracy theories and a billboard campaign in a matter of days, but Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead was finally asked his opinion on the issue during Wednesday’s SEC Coaches Teleconference.

He also compared the toughness of the SEC West and Big Ten East before speaking a bit more about backup quarterback Keytaon Thompson, who fans want to replace Nick Fitzgerald. Below is everything Moorhead said during the teleconference.

On his takeaways from the LSU game:

  • The defense is playing at a high level. The challenge to them is to create more turnovers. We are No. 105 in that category. … Offensively, scoring three points isn’t going to cut it. … Doing well on the ground, but without a passing game, it’s tough to drive the length of the field. … I’m happy with special teams outside of punting.

On facing A&M’s rush defense:

  • I’ve known of (Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko); he’s been all over the Northeast. His kids are playing great. … It will be similar to LSU and Auburn —we have to find a way to move it on the ground, and it will be hard.

On the SEC West vs Big Ten East:

  • It’s comparable. SEC West is the most competitive, but the Big 10 East is right behind that. You are constantly facing teams where the margin of error is small, and that’s something that has shown itself a few times this season.

On backup quarterback Keytaon Thompson:

  • People are calling for it, but going into my sophomore year, I was in the same situation. I took over the job after five games and got in there and did well and kept the job for the rest of the season and the next two years. Keytaon has not made it an issue. He prepares as if he is the starter. He is improving on a daily basis. We haven’t had to address my situation with him as he’s not brought anything to our attention for us to speak on it.

On LSU LB Devin White’s targeting call:

  • It’s a difficult situation, That’s the call that was made. You have the review, but when you have a rule in for player safety, I’m not really going to make an opinion on a call like that. I’m not sure I’m in a position to do that.

Does something need to be adjusted?

  • That’s a good question. We do receive inquires. That’s something we will discuss, I would think, leading up to next season.