Bulldogs coach Joe Moorhead announced at a weekly press conference that team captain, senior Quarterback, and Heisman hopeful, Nick Fitzgerald, will not be playing in the season opener due to a violation of team rules back in March, that Coach Moorhead didn't expand on.
In Fitzgerald's place, will be Keytaon Thompson, a sophomore Quarterback, who also started in place of Fitzgerald after an injury in the 2017 Egg Bowl game and brought home a bowl game win against Louisville in December, "I think the guys have a tremendous amount of belief in Keytaon," Moorhead said. "Obviously because of how talented he is. He has had the ability to go into a game, in particular, a bowl game, under an interim staff against a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, and ended up taking them to a great win in a bowl game."
The Bulldogs are ranked 18th in the AP Preseason poll, one spot above the previous season, and if Moorheads' coaching style of the "Championship Standard" is legit, then expect more of these executive decisions throughout the whole season, because at this point every game matters if we want to be guaranteed a spot in the top 5.
Students around campus are feeling betrayed, confused, and offended, but most people are in the same boat of if it's the season opener against an unranked team we will be fine, Keytaon has practiced with the team alongside Fitzgerald throughout the spring and fall, and also has played with the team in the past season. Keytaon has a promising future at Mississippi State, and he definitely already made a name for himself.
Having earned the title of "Team Captain" this year people, and not just teammates look up to you, especially being the starting Quarterback for two years. You have to maintain a certain standard under this title, not just to your teammates but again to the public as a whole. Nick broke a rule, that obviously cannot be overlooked, he deserves the consequences that come with it, even if that is sitting out the season opener.
Even though for some it's hard to imagine Fitzgerald's absence and what this could mean to the game, but it should still be noted that Coach Moorhead is willing to suspend his Senior Starting quarterback on the season opener and his first game as head coach at Mississippi State.