STARKVILLE, MS (WLBT) - Mississippi State senior quarterback Nick Fitzgerald made it clear on Monday that he’s tired of talking about the ankle injury he suffered in the 2017 Egg Bowl.
“It’s an injury. We play football,” Fitzgerald said. “People get hurt walking down the street. It happens. It’s not something we have to hype up. It’s football. It’s violent. It is what it is.”
While it’s a rivalry game that Ole Miss Head Coach Matt Luke knows inside an out, this is a first for Joe Moorhead. But Moorhead said he was immediately introduced to just how important this rivalry game is.
The biggest message Moorhead is trying to send to his players this week is to play with emotions without being emotional.
“They’re going to be fired up,” Moorhead said. “That’s going to last for about a series or a half of a quarter then when that wears off you’ll fall back on your preparation.”
“We know exactly what this rivalry has been and how dirty things have gotten,” Fitzgerald added. “But it’s our job to let that go. If we get wrapped up in emotions we’re going to start playing football that’s not characteristic of what we’ve done this season.”
State’s defense has really been the star of the show this season for the Bulldogs by only allowing an FBS-low of 12 touchdowns. Offensively, MSU’S win over Arkansas marked State’s 4th game of scoring 45 or more points. Things seem to be clicking for Mississippi State, but as far as the game plan goes for Thursday, Moorhead said they still have some things to figure out.
“You can win games by running the ball well, but to win championships you have to be balanced,” Moorhead said. “That’s one thing that we’re growing towards. I’m not really caught up on if we should run the ball really well or pass the ball really well. The game plan can veer more towards what you do well and what the other team struggles to defend.”
Kick off for the Egg Bowl is set for 6:30 this Thursday in Oxford.