STARKVILLE, Miss. (WLBT) - Tommy Stevens has only been on the Mississippi State campus for six months, but in that short time, he has gone through the gambit.
To say nothing if he’s not perseverant, two weeks ago at Arkansas, Stevens reminded everyone why he was brought here to be the leader under center. Afterwards. Stevens was just elated to feel healthy for the first time since the opening week of the season.
“I was just happy to be a part of a really good team win,” he said after throwing for two touchdowns to just six incompletions in a 54-24 win over the Razorbacks.
“I’ve been struggling with some injuries but I was able to do some things (against Arkansas) where I felt more like myself.”
What gave MSU coach Joe Moorhead confidence in Stevens’ health more than anything was that the senior quarterback also averaged nearly five yards per carry in the win.
“Seeing him run the ball was good,” said Moorhead. “This was the first time that he was healthy, he threw it accurately and created explosive plays.”
The argument could be made that the Bulldogs’ 2019 season went off the rails the moment injuries forced Stevens out of games. Coming in as a graduate-transfer from Penn State in May and then winning the starting quarterback job in August, Stevens was well on his way to proving that decision right with a 236 passing yards and two touchdown performance in a win over Louisiana-Lafayette to open the season.
But the next week against Southern Miss, Stevens was forced out in the first half with an upper-body injury. Then just as that was on the mend, he suffered a lower-body injury about a month later. He played in just three games between the second week of September and all of October with freshman Garrett Shrader thrust into action in the meantime. The Bulldogs in that stretch went from being ranked in the top 25, to crashing out of the polls winning just one of their last five games.
With the win over Arkansas, MSU snapped a four-game losing streak - its first since 2005. Stevens, in that victory, reminded everyone why he earned the starting quarterback job to begin with and now that things are seemingly back to normal, he is excited to lead the Bulldogs in their effort for a bowl bid.
“I’m just taking it one day at a time,” Stevens said. “I just come in to work everyday and do everything I can to help this team be successful. It’s the only thing that I can control and I’ll do it to the best of my ability.”
Coming off of the bye week, Stevens and the Bulldogs jump right back into the SEC gauntlet with fifth-ranked Alabama coming to Davis-Wade Stadium on Saturday. Kick-off is schedule for 11 a.m.