Mississippi State Notes
Mississippi State Notes
Bulldogs in 2018: The Bulldogs enter the Outback Bowl ranked 18th in the CFP Rankings with an 8-4 record where all losses came against teams in the top 15. They boast the No. 1 Scoring Defense in the nation and one of the nation's most potent running quarterbacks in Nick Fitzgerald.
Bulldog Tradition: This is the 119th season of football for Mississippi State. They hold an overall record of 563-577-39. The Bulldogs have produced 46 All-Americans and have placed 6 coaches or players into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame.
Mississippi State in the Bowls: This is the 22nd bowl appearance for the Bulldogs, in which they hold a record of 13-8. Mississippi State is 9-2 in their last 11 bowl games.
Feature Players: The Bulldogs are led by QB Nick Fitzgerald. He has thrown for 1,615 yards and 15 TDs at a completion percentage of 52.6%, though much of his value is in his legs where he has rushed for 1,018 yards and 12 TDs. Fitzgerald now holds the SEC record for most Career Rushing Yards by a QB (3,504), surpassing Tim Tebow's previous record of 2,947. He is accompanied by RBs Kylin Hill (691 yards, 4 TDs) and Aeris Williams (502 yards, 3 TDs). This trio has helped the Bulldogs establish themselves as the No. 2 Rushing Offense in the SEC.
Their leading receiver is WR Osirus Mitchell with 24 catches for 385 yards and 4 TDs. RB Kylin Hill is next with 19 catches for 164 yards and 3 TDs. WR Stephen Guidry has added 18 catches for 389 yards and 3 TDs this season as well, averaging 21.6 yards per catch.
Defensively, the Bulldogs have the No. 1 Scoring Defense in the nation, as well as being No 1. In the SEC in Total Defense, Pass Defense, Pass Defense Efficiency, and Opponent 3rd Down Conversion Percentage. They are second in Sacks and third in Opponent 1st Downs as well.
A large reason for this has been DE Montez Sweat who is 2nd in the SEC with 11 sacks, adding 51 Tackles and 13.5 TFL. S Johnathan Abram leads Mississippi State in tackling with 93, adding 2.5 sacks and 2 INTs. LB Erroll Thompson is second on the team in tackles with 84, adding 3.5 sacks, 8.5 TFL, and 2 INTs. CB Cam Dantzler heads the passing defense with 9 Pass Breakups and 2 INTs to add.
Meet Coach Joe Moorhead: This is coach Moorhead's first year as head coach of the Bulldogs, posting an 8-4 record. Before being hired, he was the Head Coach of Fordham from 2012-2015. There, he posted two double-digit win seasons and left on a 9-3 season after being hired by Penn State as their Offensive Coordinator and QB Coach. In his two years there, he was named National Offensive Coordinator of the Year both times. In 2017, his offense ranked in the Top-25 nationally in seven different categories.