Inside Slant

The Sports Xchange

September 04, 2018 at 9:05 pm.

QB Fitzgerald set to debut after suspension

Nick Fitzgerald is back atop Mississippi State’s depth chart.

The senior quarterback and team captain served a one-game suspension for a violation of team policy last week, when he was demoted to the scout team as the Bulldogs prepared for the season opener against Stephen F. Austin. Keytaon Thompson took all the first-team reps and was excellent in victory.

“I think Nick handled it extremely well,” said Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead.

“He was sent down to the scout team for a week, so he worked to give our defense a very good look. He was very mature during the week during meetings and on the field. On game day, he was a vocal presence on the sideline and a great resource for K.T. being out there in just his second start.”

Thompson went on to tie a single-game Southeastern Conference record by accounting for seven touchdowns, and he matched an MSU record with five touchdown passes. He finished with 473 yards of total offense.

With MSU preparing for its first true road game against a Power 5 opponent in a decade this weekend at Kansas State, Fitzgerald was back with the first team when the Bulldogs started practice on Sunday.

Moorhead expects his senior signal caller to be ready coming off the suspension.

“I think Nick has learned from the experience and he’s going to be better coming out and it’ll be positive moving forward,” Moorhead said.

Senior defensive tackle Cory Thomas will also return to the field after serving a one-game suspension during the opener. However, junior offensive guard Michael Story remains indefinitely suspended.

The Bulldogs escaped training camp and their first game relatively healthy.

“Just some bumps and bruises, nothing major,” Moorhead said.

Junior wide receiver Jamal Couch was active during the opening game according to Moorhead but did not receive any playing time against the Lumberjacks.