Joe Moorhead

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Joe Moorhead bringing former Mississippi State assistant with him to Oregon

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It looks like new Oregon offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead is going to be bringing one of his former assistants from Mississippi State with him. According to a report from Football Scoop this weekend, it is expected Oregon will add Taylor Housewright as an offensive quality control assistant.

Housewright held the same position under Moorhead at Mississippi State. A change to Housewright’s own Twitter profile helped confirm that news, as it is now flooded with Oregon logos and colors and, of course, retweets. Housewright previously held a role as an offensive graduate assistant at Wyoming. He also played quarterback for Ashland University from 2009 through 2011. Housewright spent a few seasons coaching at his alma mater as well before moving on to Wyoming and, later, Mississippi State.

Moorehead was fired as head coach by Mississippi State at the conclusion of his second year in Starkville (Mississippi State hired former Washington State head coach Mike Leach). Roughly three weeks later, Oregon confirmed the addition of Moorhead as the new offensive coordinator for head coach Mario Cristobal. Moorhead is replacing Marcus Arroyo, who accepted the head coaching job at UNLV in December 2019.

Joe Moorhead thanks fans after being removed as head coach at Mississippi State

Mississippi State Joe Moorhead
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Mississippi State decided to bring the Joe Moorhead era to a close after just two seasons, which sent Moorhead into coaching exile at a tough time in the coaching carousel. Later in the day, Moorhead took some time to address Mississippi State fans as he gathered his thoughts and said good-bye to the Bulldog fanbase.

Noting it was a “pretty emotional day,” Moorhead thanks the university for the opportunity to be the head coach. Moorhead went on to thank the alumni, students, and fans for the support he received over the past two seasons. The now-former Bulldogs head coach then addressed his players and wished them well moving forward.

After he charges his phone, Moorhead will likely be receiving plenty of phone calls as the search for his next job gets started (it probably already has). As things stand now, the head coaching carousel is complete for this cycle, barring any possible changes upcoming. Moorhead would make a terrific offensive coordinator if he wants to scale back at least for one season.

Mississippi State players say Joe Moorhead isn’t leaving SEC for another job

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With Rutgers searching for a new head coach and Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead reportedly being among the top candidates to fill the vacancy, the rumor-denial season is in full swing in Starkville. Days after Moorhead deflected the idea of him leaving Mississippi State to take the Rutgers job, some of Moorhead’s players are coming to his aide to shut down the idea the coach would return to his home state.

“It’s funnier to him than anything,” Mississippi State quarterback Garrett Shrader said, according to a Mississippi Clarion Ledger report on Tuesday. “He’s not leaving an SEC West program. He’s told me that multiple times.”

“He’s our coach. He’s been the same guy,” Shrader said. “He’s passionate about this team. He’s very vocal about that. He’s not going anywhere.”

Joining Shrader in attempting to shut down the Moorhead-to-Rutgers rumor mill was running back Kylin Hill, who summed up the discussion as nothing more than the typical banter that seemingly happens during the silly season that is the coaching carousel.

“There’s always going to be outside noise,” Hill said. “That’s the world we live in today. I’m not too focused on it. Nobody’s focused on it. Everybody loves the man.”

Moorhead and Mississippi State will have their attention set on this week’s game. The Bulldogs hit the road for a game at Texas A&M on Saturday. Mississippi State is looking to even its record at 4-4.

Joe Moorhead on Rutgers vacancy: Not something that’s under consideration

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Rutgers is looking for a new head coach and Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead is supposedly the so-called frontrunner for the job, according to reports out of New Jersey. But would the Mississippi State head coach leave the SEC to take on the massive undertaking at Rutgers? For now, at least, the Bulldogs head coach is saying all the things you would expect a coach in a current job to say.

“It’s not something that’s under consideration,” Moorhead said to Paul Finebaum of SEC Network when asked about his potential interest in the job on Friday afternoon. “My focus is here at Mississippi State. This is where we want to be and this is what we want to do.”

Moorhead is in his second season as head coach of Mississippi State. Moorhead’s northeastern roots as a New Jersey native seem like a natural fit to take on the Rutgers coaching job. Whether Moorhead is leaving one program stuck in the bottom half of its own division in the SEC for a chance to be stuck in the bottom half of its division in the Big Ten remains to be seen. Moorhead is saying everything a current head coach should be expected to say, whether he genuinely means it or not.

Rutgers fired Chris Ash at the end of September after a 1-3 start capped by a blowout loss at Michigan. Tight ends coach Nunzio Campanile has been serving as the team’s interim coach while the search for a permanent replacement for Ash is found.

QB Keytaon Thompson steps out of transfer portal, will stay at Mississippi State

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Mississippi State just improved the depth at the quarterback position. Keytaon Thompson has decided not to explore his transfer options any further and will remain with the Mississippi State program, head coach Joe Moorhead announced on Monday.

Thompson has already returned to Mississippi State football practices and has been slotted as the second-string quarterback behind starter Tommy Stevens (who transferred to the program from Penn State to reunite with his former offensive coordinator, Moorhead). Thompson explored his transfer options by entering his name in the NCAA transfer portal one day after Stevens had been named the starting quarterback for the Bulldogs by Moorhead. Such a move by a quarterback not being named the starter has been a common occurrence over the past year, and a handful of transfer quarterbacks have gotten off to stellar starts this season (Justin Fields at Ohio State, Jalen Hurts at Oklahoma, and Jacob Eason at Washington to name a few).

Thompson’s decision to stay at Mississippi State is a nice boost for Moorhead. Thompson is a former four-star recruit from the New Orleans area and he likely would have had some worthwhile options to explore if he wanted. Among those options likely could have been Florida, where former Mississippi State Dan Mullen and a number of former Mississippi State staff members who were involved in his original recruiting now reside. But with Thompson deciding to stay in Starkville, at least for now, gives Moorhead another player with the potential to rely on in the offense. And given Moorhead’s past as an offensive coordinator at Penn State in finding ways to utilize Stevens when he had Trace McSorley locked in as a starting quarterback, perhaps the head coach will find some ways to get Thompson involved in the offense as the season continues.