September 10, 2019 12:08:52 AM
STARKVILLE -- And so the quarterback turnstile has begun to rotate at Mississippi State.
After starting signal caller Tommy Stevens was injured in the second quarter of Saturday's 38-15 win over Southern Mississippi, coach Joe Moorhead would not commit to him being healthy enough to play this week against Kansas State Monday.
Toeing his usual line of trepidation in disclosing injuries, Moorhead said Stevens is day-to-day. In his absence, junior Keytaon Thompson, redshirt freshman Jalen Mayden and freshman Garrett Shrader are all preparing as if they'll be the starter when the Wildcats come to town.
"We're going to see where it goes as the week progresses," Moorhead said.
Having replaced Stevens for the second half of Saturday's win, Shrader would be the logical candidate to start should Stevens not be able to go. The Charlotte native finished the afternoon 7-of-11 for 71 yards in his first collegiate action and has earned rave reviews from coaches and teammates since he enrolled mid-year.
Thompson, who is listed as the co-No. 2 quarterback alongside Shrader, is another likely option -- though he was reportedly dealing with an upper body issue of his own last week and did not practice. Moorhead did say postgame that he was available if needed Saturday.
Mayden was not dressed for the USM win but Moorhead said Monday that he has been an active participant in practice.
Given Moorhead's propensity to avoid injury talk, a decision on Stevens' status likely won't be disclosed till right before game time Saturday.
In six quarters of action this season, the Penn State transfer is 29-of-40 for 241 yards and four touchdowns. Stevens has also rushed for 37 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.
Transfers, injuries, oh my!
Unlike the quarterback situation in Starkville, the transfer and eligibility issues amongst MSU players are beginning to clear up.
An MSU Athletics spokesman confirmed to The Dispatch Monday afternoon that junior college running back Kareem Walker has completed the necessary transfer requirements and is enrolled at MSU.
A one-time Michigan player, Walker was dealing with a handful of administrative issues that delayed his arrival. He will add depth behind an already solid stable of running backs that includes junior Kylin Hill, senior Nick Gibson and freshman Lee Witherspoon.
Moorhead also announced Louisville transfer Allen Love had his appeal for immediate eligibility denied. Love, a sophomore defensive tackle, was seen injured, riding a scooter along the sidelines during the USM game.
Injury-wise, starting junior left-guard Dareuan Parker is the lone player Moorhead said he expects to miss the Kansas State game. Parker was injured in the season opener against Louisiana and was held out against USM as he continues to deal with a lower body injury.
Williams honored by SEC
After going down with injury against Louisiana, Darryl Williams has been named the co-SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week following MSU's Week Two victory over USM.
A team captain and preseason second team All-SEC selection, Williams graded out higher than any other MSU offensive lineman -- allowing zero pressures on the afternoon.
"Darryl is certainly the straw that stirs the drink up front," Moorhead said.
Bring on the polls
MSU entered the Amway Coaches Poll for the first time this season Monday.
Coming in at No. 23, the Bulldogs currently sit at 2-0 on the year. MSU's entrance into the rankings marks the 20th time in the past 26 weeks the Bulldogs have been listed.
Other SEC teams included were:
No. 2 Alabama
No. 3 Georgia
No. 5 LSU
No. 8 Florida
No. 9 Auburn
No. 15 Texas A&M
Ben Portnoy reports on Mississippi State sports for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter at @bportnoy15.
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