Mississippi State starting quarterback Nick Fitzgerald has been suspended for the Bulldog’s season opener against Stephen F. Austin. Head coach Joe Moorhead announced the suspension just five days before gameday:
Holy crap Joe Moorhead said Nick Fitzgerald won’t play against Stephen F. Austin. He violated team rules in March. Korey Charles is also out.— Brett Hudson (@Brett_Hudson) August 27, 2018
The news is certainly surprising, given that Fitzgerald has been the Bulldogs’ starter since 2016. The good news for Bulldog fans is that it shouldn’t affect MSU’s chances too much against the Lumberjacks — there isn’t even a line listed for the game on OddsShark. Fitzgerald threw for 1,782 yards and 15 touchdowns last year, including 14 more scores on the ground.
As for who will start in Fitzgerald’s place, that would be former four-star dual-threat out of New Orleans’ Landry-Walker High prospect Keytaon Thompson.
Moorhead says Keytaon Thompson, who will start against Stephen F. Austin, has been taking the No. 1 reps since Friday. Fitzgerald took the starter reps before that.— Brett Hudson (@Brett_Hudson) August 27, 2018
In high school, he piled up 10,737 yards of total offense and was responsible for 149 touchdowns.
Moorhead on the QB thing: “Nick and KT share a similar skillset.” He doesn’t expect the gameplan to be very different as the starting job goes from Fitz to KT for a week.— Brett Hudson (@Brett_Hudson) August 27, 2018
Thompson has been branded the future of the program, and he looks as much. Thompson weighs in at 6’4 and 225 pounds and he’s the perfect quarterback for Dan Mullen’s system. As a big bodied, dual-threat quarterback, he’s bringing the perfect skill set for an offense that was practically built for him.
He also has some experience under his belt. The sophomore came in for Fitzgerald during last year’s Egg Bowl against Ole Miss, after Fitzgerald suffered a leg injury in the first quarter. He finished the game with two touchdowns, one rushing and one throwing, and he had 316 total yards of offense on the night.
Although the Bulldogs lost to the Rebels, 31-38, in Starkville, the future behind Fitzgerald looked bright given Thompson’s performance.
If you’re a Miss state fan, you should have a lot of faith in Keytaon Thompson in the next drive. LA Gatorade player of the year with college experience this ssn— Olivia Harlan Dekker (@Olivia_Harlan) November 24, 2017
He He also had two rushing touchdown against Kentucky earlier in the season last year.
We’ll see how Thompson does as the starter on Saturday night, kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET, and it’ll air on ESPNU and WatchESPN.
For more on Mississippi State, visit For Whom the Cowbell Tolls.