STARKVILLE • Five players listed on Mississippi State’s depth chart missed Saturday’s game against Southern Miss.
Linebacker Willie Gay Jr., wide receiver Devonta Jason, offensive lineman Kwatrivous Johnson and safety Marcus Murphy were suspended due to a violation of team rules.
Defensive tackle Lee Autry and kicker Jace Christmann, who were both suspended for last week’s opener, both started against the Golden Eagles.
Left guard Dareuan Parker did not play on Saturday due to a lower body injury sustained in the opener. Senior Tommy Champion made his first career start in Parker’s absence.
Sophomore James Jackson continues to search for a position home.
Jackson was recruited as a defensive tackle and played in four games there last season. The 6-foot-3, 315-pounder moved to center in the spring but was then brought back to defense this fall due to the low numbers the Bulldogs had at that position.
On Tuesday, however, Jackson was asked to move back to offense and played most of Saturday’s game at center while Parker, Darryl Williams and Evans Wilkerson continue to mend.
“On quick notice, I felt like I did my job,” Jackson said. “It wasn’t anything spectacular but I’ll get the technique down over the next couple of weeks.
Southern Miss started its first drive of the second quarter down 14-0 and marched down to the MSU 24-yard line. But the Bulldogs’ defense stood tall with back-to-back sacks by Brian Cole and Marquiss Spencer.
Making matters worse for the Golden Eagles, Spencer forced Jack Abraham to fumble and the ball was recovered by Tyler Williams.
KEY NUMBER: 94
The temperature at kickoff was a sweltering 94 degrees, marking the second-hottest kickoff temperature at Davis Wade Stadium since 1990. It failed to surpass the 98-degree kickoff temperature against Vanderbilt on Sept. 5, 1998.
“We’re in Mississippi, we’re used to the sun. We practiced in camp all in the heat, spring all in the heat. It’s hot out here 24/7 I feel like, I’m from Michigan. We adjusted and got used to it.” – Cole
The Bulldogs host Kansas State on Saturday at 11 a.m. on either ESPN or ESPN2.
Mississippi State has won four-straight over Southern Miss and now leads the overall series 15-14-1. ... RB Kylin Hill rushed for over 100 yards for the fifth time in his career. ... True freshmen QB Garrett Shrader, RB Lee Witherspoon, OL Charles Cross, DT Nathan Pickering, DE De’Monte Russell, CB Martin Emerson, CB Jarrian Jones, S Collin Duncan and S J.P. Purvis all saw action. ... Cole and Jaquarius Landrews led the team with seven tackles each.