Where does Mississippi State offense go from here? Joe Moorhead comments following loss to Tennessee
Mississippi State dropped a tough game on Saturday to a Tennessee team that entered the matchup as the only Power 5 team that had yet to beat an FBS opponent entering Week 7 of the season. As if the loss wasn’t bad enough, the Bulldogs were dominated throughout much of the contest, eventually falling by a 20-10 margin.
The loss dropped Mississippi State to 3-3 on the season and left Joe Moorhead having to answer some tough questions regarding his offense, which was overmatched on Saturday despite facing a Tennessee defense that had struggled through much of the season.
Compounding the loss in the eyes of many is the way Moorhead is selecting his quarterbacks. Senior Tommy Stevens started the game but was benched in favor of freshman Garrett Shrader at halftime.
Here are some of the comments Moorhead made after the game.
“Didn’t play well enough in all three phases for all four quarters to have an opportunity to beat an SEC team on the road. I thought we did well on defense for about three and a half quarters, had them pinned back there inside the 10-yard line and then gave up that nine-play, 91-yard drive. I thought we played well throughout the day creating some turnovers, but offensively we couldn’t get anything going in the second half. It’s my responsibility and I’ll get it fixed.”
On Garrett Schrader making a case to become the starting quarterback:
“He is. And we’ll look at that tomorrow. We went through a week of practice and both of them were a little bit nicked up and Tommy (Stevens) got a little bit healthier and had a good week of practice. After those two first-half turnovers we decided to make the change.”
On struggling to get the run game going with Kylin Hill:
“We tried to get it going and I think they were doing a good job holding their interior gaps, doing some line movements. We certainly made an effort, but the big thing is we just couldn’t find any offensive rhythm. When we’re rolling and getting him carries, he’s getting four, five, six yards a clip and we’re able to continue to use the pass game. The weird thing is we have 20 first downs and converted a decent amount of third downs, but it didn’t seem like we ever got in a rhythm, particularly in the run game.”
On the difference in Mississippi State’s offense with Garrett Schrader and Tommy Stevens:
“Tommy had been a guy that had made a lot of plays with his feet throughout his career, but I think Garrett’s ability to make plays with his feet by design and improvisation with scrambles.”