In a season featuring several frustrating outcomes, Mississippi State’s latest campaign ended with one final disappointment. Without a doubt, Hail State fans are not happy with the way Joe Moorhead’s first season in Starkville has come to a conclusion.
The fans aren’t alone, however, as two of Mississippi State’s leaders issued their thoughts following the team’s 27-22 New Year’s Day loss to Iowa in the Outback Bowl. This wasn’t the ending Nick Fitzgerald or Jonathan Abram envisioned for their MSU careers but you can at least credit both players for reaching out to the fans soon after the final loss of the season.
While Fitzgerald did register 103 yards on the ground and a touchdown, the senior quarterback continued to struggle to pass the ball in Moorhead’s offense. He finished the game going 14 of 32 for 152 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
He offered his comment after the game:
This is not how it was supposed to end for this senior class… And for that I’ve always put the blame on myself and today is no different. But I have loved every minute in Starkville and thank everyone that has supported me through my career! #Hailstate
— Nick Fitzgerald (@nickfitz07) January 1, 2019
You can’t put the Outback Bowl loss on the shoulders of Mississippi State’s defense, as Iowa finished the game with negative 15 yards rushing and converting only one of 11 third down attempts, but that didn’t stop senior defensive back Johnathan Abram from apologizing after the game.
Abram registered a team-high six tackles, one and a half tackles for loss and half a sack against Iowa.
I just want to apologize to all the fans & supporters! This is not how it was suppose to end, so many plays I want back from today but I can promise the guys here will make it right next year! I’m beyond grateful for all support & love! Forever a bulldog 🐶
— Johnathan Abram 🗡 (@JohnathanAbram1) January 1, 2019
Considering all the talent Moorhead inherited from Dan Mullen, combined with his offseason talk of raising the bar upon his arrival in Starkville and setting a championship standard for MSU, 8-5 seasons aren’t going to cut it for long. With so many losses coming on the defensive side of the ball, if the offense doesn’t pick up the slack in Year 2 under Moorhead, 8-5 may not even be attainable next season.