Photo by: The Dispatch File Photo
August 17, 2018 7:22:34 AM
Every day from 99 days out (May 25) until kickoff, I'll put up a post telling you how many days until kickoff and breaking down something about the upcoming season related to that number.
Today, since we are 15 days away from kickoff, we take a look at: Nick Fitzgerald's 15 touchdown passes last season is mighty low. Putting that number in context and explaining the obvious case for it to go up.
Those 15 touchdown passes by a MSU starting quarterback were the lowest since 2013, when Dak Prescott, Tyler Russell and Damian Williams split the time to the point that Prescott ended with just 10 passing touchdowns. If you look at it in the context of the SEC, Fitzgerald's 15 TD passes finished ninth last season and would have been in that area in the five seasons before it. The point here is, if a starting quarterback finishes a season with 15 TD passes, they're going to be among the lowest in the SEC in that category.
Optimism -- maybe a little too much of it, in spots -- for the Moorhead offense in the MSU fan base probably means I don't have to make the case for Fitzgerald to throw more touchdown passes this year, but I'm going to bring up a few quick points anyway.
- Sheer number of opportunities. Not only will he go deep more, but he'll generally just throw the ball more. Fitzgerald's first two seasons saw him average 323.5 attempts per season; over those same two seasons, Trace McSorley averaged 407 attempts per season.
- Health. To make no mention of the seven quarters Fitzgerald was robbed of, surely the team's top two wideouts won't get hurt in back-to-back years, right? That seems mighty unlikely.
Follow Dispatch sports writer Brett Hudson on Twitter @Brett_Hudson