One of the top quarterbacks in the SEC will not get the chance to start on opening day this weekend. Head coach Joe Moorhead announced Nick Fitzgerald has been suspended for the season opener due to a violation of team rules. Keytaon Thompson will get the start instead for Week 1.
The exact nature of the violation is unconfirmed, although the incident that resulted in the suspension-worthy violation is reported to have occurred in March. Barring any other announcements, it is expected Fitzgerald will be reinstated for Mississippi State’s road contest at Kansas State in Week 2, but an announcement from Moorhead will have to confirm that at a later time.
Fitzgerald passed for 1,782 yards and 15 touchdowns and rushed for 984 yards and 14 touchdowns for the Bulldogs last season. His ability to be a dual-threat seemingly makes for an ideal quarterback for Moorhead as he takes over the program.
Thompson appeared in 10 games last season, in which he completed 32 of 66 pass attempts for 388 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. Thompson also rushed for 446 yards and six touchdowns, and he should be a suitable fill-in as a starter for Mississippi State’s season opener, even against a solid FCS program.
Defensive tackle Cory Thomas was also suspended by Moorhead for the season opener.
Mississippi State hosts Stephen F. Austin on Saturday.