STARKVILLE • Tommy Stevens’ status for Saturday’s game against undefeated Kansas State is still up in the air.
The Mississippi State quarterback sustained an injury to his right throwing arm after being sacked in the second quarter against Southern Miss and missed the remainder of the game.
Coach Joe Moorhead stated that Stevens was “day-to-day” on Monday and that the graduate transfer received treatment from team trainers on Sunday and Monday.
“We’re going to see where it goes with Tommy and how he progresses during the week,” Moorhead said. “I don’t want to rule him out completely. We’ll just see how it goes.”
True freshman Garrett Shrader finished out the Southern Miss game after Stevens’ injury but Moorhead did not reveal which quarterback he would start on Saturday if Stevens is unable to play.
“We’re going to get all of them ready,” Moorhead said. “We’re going to get Tommy, Garrett and (Keytaon Thompson) and heck, we’re even going to get Jalen (Mayden) going too a little bit. We’ll see where it goes.”
Mayden, a redshirt freshman, has not dressed out for the Bulldogs’ first two games but has been practicing with the team according to Moorhead.
Moorhead mentioned that left guard Dareuan Parker probably won’t play against the Wildcats this weekend with a lower body injury sustained in the season opener. Defensive tackle transfer Allen Love’s appeal to the NCAA to play this season after transferring from Louisville was denied.
FRESH CONTRIBUTIONSMSU has had 16 players make their debut in maroon and white during the first two games, nine of which have been true freshmen.
True freshmen defensive backs Martin Emerson Jr., Jarrian Jones, Collin Duncan and J.P. Purvis have all seen action along with Shrader at quarterback, running back Lee Witherspoon, offensive tackle Charles Cross and defensive linemen Nathan Pickering and De’Monte Russell.
“I think that’s a good sign,” Moorhead said. “There were (five) instate kids that are true freshmen that had the ability to get on the field. What can happen when you stay at home and play for your state university? You have the opportunity to get on the field right away.”
Cornerbacks Emerson and Jones have seen the most playing time among that group. Emerson even had an interception against Southern Miss.
“They do not lack confidence,” Moorhead said. “They believe that they can play at this level and have earned the right with how they’ve performed in camp and in the early part of the season. I think the sky is the limit for both of those guys.”
NO PENALTY PROBLEMMississippi State committed the 10th-most penalties in the SEC last season.
The Bulldogs drew double-digit flags in three games (Kansas State, Kentucky and Texas A&M) and exceeded 80 yards of penalty yardage five times in 2018.
State seems to straightened up its act, having only been flagged seven times for 50 yards in its first two games.
“That was a little bit of a deal for us last year,” Moorhead said. “Early on this season, I think we’ve got that cleaned up a little bit as it’s went along. Right now we’re the least penalized team in the SEC and eighth in the nation.”