Coming off a tough loss on the road to Kentucky, Joe Moorhead quickly finds himself entering a critical week of preparation with Dan Mullen returning to town with his Florida team. To keep his seat cool in Starkville, Moorhead needs to win this game, otherwise, there could be hell to pay from the Hail State fanbase.

During his Monday afternoon media availability, Moorhead seemed to be fully aware of the situation after his team fell 28-7 in Lexington. The loss puts his team in a hole in the SEC West and with the former coach returning to town, the sense of urgency to get back on the right track will be elevated this week in Starkville.

Moorhead came out during his opening statements and delivered the most passionate speech of his early tenure at Mississippi State.

“I’m ultimately responsible for elevating the expectation level amongst our players, amongst our program and amongst our fans by using the term ‘championship standard.’ And I’m fine with that. I’m not going to apologize, I’m not going to backtrack and I’m not going to waffle for one second or one minute,” Moorhead said during his opening remarks. “I know realistically it wasn’t going to happen overnight but our coaching staff didn’t become dumb overnight and our players didn’t become bad overnight. This is the same team that one the first three games and went on the road and beat a Kansas State team in a Power 5 non-conference game, that hadn’t happened in over 30 years.”

If that wasn’t fiery enough, Moorhead then took things up a notch.

“One loss will not define a season and one loss will not define this team. I promise you this, this team is working tirelessly to get this friggin’ thing right. Hopefully everyone understands that the standard is the standard, we are not going to change anything in our approach and one game will not define this damn team and we are going to get this thing back right,” he said.

“There are no players of the week or helmet stickers when we lose a game.”

While Moorhead makes a good point, one loss doesn’t define a season at college football’s highest level, adding another loss to this particular opponent likely will end the hopes of Hail State in a hurry. Win big over Florida and Mullen and Mississippi State will be back on track with all their goals in front of them. On the other hand, suffering a defeat at home to Mullen and there’s no telling what Moorhead will have to come out saying this time next week.