MSU football notebook: Bulldogs hold scrimmage, QB decision getting closer, injury updates

 

Ben Portnoy

 

 

STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State football season is inching closer. 

 

Following a canceled session last week, MSU held its first scrimmage at Davis Wade Stadium Saturday night. 

 

Going through simulated situations, it was the offense that had coach Joe Moorhead talking following the practice. 

 

"I think the good thing offensively is that we spread it around," he said. "A bunch of different guys made plays." 

 

Moorhead specifically mentioned junior running back and Columbus native Kylin Hill as a standout performer. Seeing limited action, Hill notched a handful of productive runs in the controlled environment. 

 

Defensively, Martin Emerson created the lone announced turnover of the night with an interception along the sideline. 

 

After this week's set of practices Moorhead and his coaching staff will put the Bulldogs through a simulated game day in preparation for the season opener against Louisiana Aug. 31 in New Orleans. MSU will board the team buses, partake in "The Dawg Walk," and go through pregame warmups prior to a half scrimmage next weekend. 

 

"There were some wide eyes on the young guys and the game was moving pretty fast," Moorhead said. "But as a head coach and a football program anytime you have an intrasquad scrimmage what you want to see is a great level of effort and increased understanding of the scheme and improved execution... I thought for the most part the kids had great urgency. 

 

 

 

 

 

Quarterbacks in a holding patterns 

 

 

 

 

 

And so quarterback watch Day 15 has come and gone as Penn State transfer Tommy Stevens and junior incumbent Keytaon Thompson continue to battle for the No. 1 job. 

 

Moorhead said his staff has begun to lean a certain way but is not fully prepared to make a final judgement on the situation. 

 

Speaking after the scrimmage, he said he will hopefully have a decision made this week. 

 

"You kind of have a gut feeling watching it but we'll grade it tonight, we'll talk about it tomorrow and make a plan moving forward from there," Moorhead said. 

 

 

 

 

 

News, injuries and more. 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bulldogs are on the mend. 

 

Two weeks into fall camp Moorhead said that no player is expected to miss time "indefinitely" at this point. 

 

That said, Moorhead said junior linebacker Willie Gay Jr. is continuing to nurse a lower body injury. Moorhead added he is "cautiously optimistic" he will be ready to go the week of the season opener. 

 

In other news, there is no update on the pending transfers of junior college running back Kareem Walker and South Alabama punter Corliss Waitman. 

 

Walker was expected early in camp but has continued to battle through administrative issues, postponing his arrival. 

 

Waitman was signed as a graduate transfer but had his sixth-year of eligibility denied by the NCAA. His process is ongoing. 

 

Devonta "Whop" Jason is also not with the program at present. He is back home in New Orleans handling some personal issues. 

 

"Year 21 of being a husband and father of young kids I think we lose sight of the emotional side of it," Moorhead said in reference to Jason. "You get caught up in playing time, you get caught up in depth charts and you realize the kids have problems outside the white lines and we're doing everything we can to support him." 

 

 

Ben Portnoy reports on Mississippi State sports for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter at @bportnoy15.

 

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