Joe Moorhead

Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead will be making his first appearance in Hoover, as last year’s SEC Media Days event was held in Atlanta.

Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead will take to the SEC Media Days podium on Wednesday afternoon, accompanied to Hoover by tight end Farrod Green, center Darryl Williams and linebacker Erroll Thompson.

Here are five questions Moorhead will likely be asked during the media circus.

1, Who will be your starting quarterback?

The Bulldogs will have to replace three-year starter Nick Fitzgerald and that responsibility appeared to fall at the feet of Fitzgerald’s back-up Keytaon Thompson.

Thompson spent the spring as MSU’s No. 1 signal caller ahead of freshmen Jalen Mayden and Garett Shrader. But Thompson – a junior – is in for a battle during fall camp with the addition of Tommy Stevens as a graduate transfer.

Stevens was expected to be the starter at Penn State this fall and has two years of experience running Moorhead’s system. Thompson is 2-0 as a starter but has only completed 48 percent of his passes during his career.

2, How will graduate transfers fit in?

Stevens is not the only graduate transfer help that Moorhead sought during the offseason.

The Bulldogs will also have wide receiver Isaiah Zuber coming in from Kansas State and punter Corliss Waitman transferring in from South Alabama.

Zuber was the Wildcats’ most productive receiver last season with 52 catches for 619 yards and five touchdowns and also served as the team’s punt and kickoff returner. Waitman worked most of his career under MSU special teams coordinator Joey Jones with the Jaguars and averaged 41.7 yards per punt in 2018.

3, How do you replace three NFL first-rounders on defense?

The Bulldogs lost defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons and defensive end Montez Sweat and safety Johnathan Abram in the first round of the NFL Draft and naturally their talent, ability and leadership will be missed.

State is also tasked with replacing all four starters on the defensive line but do have some experience to plug those vacancies with Lee Autry, Chauncey Rivers, Marquiss Spencer, Fletcher Adams and Kobe Jones. Interior depth does remain a concern.

4, Will the offense be more consistent in 2019?

Mississippi State’s offensive was either lighting up the scoreboard or barely scoring at all during Moorhead’s inaugural season in Starkville.

The Bulldogs generated over 400 yards of offense in seven games last year – all of which were wins.

MSU was also held to seven or fewer points four times in 2018 – three of which it failed to find the end zone.

5, How much weight have you lost?

There’s certainly no shortage of oddball questions during SEC Media Days so Moorhead will likely be asked about his drastic weight loss over the offseason.

Moorhead has trimmed down through intermittent fasting and usually only consumes Diet Mountain Dew during the daytime hours.

logan.lowery@journalinc.com Twitter: @loganlowery

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