One of the best names in college football will be sidelined for the foreseeable future.
MoMo Sanogo, Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke confirmed Monday, will undergo surgery Tuesday to repair a broken right ankle. The linebacker suffered the injury during the Week 2 win over Arkansas.
The injury and subsequent rehab will keep Sanogo off the field for “roughly 10 weeks,” Luke stated.
If Sanogo is sidelined for those 10 weeks, he would miss the Rebels’ next nine regular-season games. At the far end of the initial timeline, he’d be able to return for the annual rivalry game with Mississippi State Nov. 28.
Last year, Sanogo led the Rebels in tackles and was third in the SEC at 9.3 tackles per game.
Whether Mississippi State will have its starting quarterback for its third non-conference game of the season remains up in the air, but there appears to be some level of optimism as to his Week 3 availability.
Tommy Stevens, who transferred to MSU from Penn State this offseason and won the starting job coming out of summer camp, sustained what was only described as a lower-body injury at the end of the first half of the Week 2 win over Southern Miss. The injury sidelined Stevens for the remainder of that game.
With a home date against Kansas State on tap Saturday afternoon, Stevens is officially listed as day-to-day and his status will be determined the closer they get to kickoff.
“He came through [Sunday] and got treatment. He’s going to get more [treatment Monday] on the players’ off day,” head coach Joe Moorehead said according to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. “We’re going to see where it goes as the week progresses.”
In his first two starts for the Bulldogs, Stevens has completed 29-of-40 passes (72.5%) for 341 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. He’s also accounted for 37 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries.
If Stevens is unable to go, true freshman Garrett Shrader could get the start. Additionally, Keytaon Thompson, who entered his name into the transfer portal after losing out on the starting job to Stevens only to return to the team less than two weeks later, would be another possibility as well.
It turns out a few coaches (or their Sports Information Directors) either stayed up late enough to catch Cal’s upset of Washington early on Sunday morning or they at least bothered to check the box score because the Huskies were the biggest mover in the Week 3 Coaches Poll — and not in the direction they would have liked.
UW dropped nine spots to No. 21 — mirroring their drop in the AP Poll (where they were No. 23) — double the drop for fellow Saturday losers Texas (down four places to No. 13) and Texas A&M (also down four spots to No. 15).
The Big Ten was home to two teams who moved down despite winning, with No. 6 Ohio State dropping a single place to make way for No. 5 LSU while No. 10 Michigan predictably fell three spots after escaping in double OT against Army.
Virginia didn’t make the cut for the coaches despite doing so for AP voters but the former poll did include three newcomers in No. 23 Mississippi State, No. 24 USC (who beat a ranked Stanford team) and No. 25 Maryland (who throttled a ranked Syracuse side). The Cardinal and Orange were 2/3 of the group of teams that dropped out of the rankings, joining Nebraska after the Cornhuskers were stunned by Colorado on Saturday.
The full Week 3 Coaches Poll:
- Clemson (60 first place votes)
- Alabama (3)
- Ohio State
- Notre Dame
- Penn State
- Texas A&M
- Michigan State
- Washington State
- Boise State
- Mississippi State
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.
It may mean more in the SEC, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s more better*. And, most certainly, the conference has had better weekends than what Week 1 wrought.
Somewhere in the neighborhood of 17-point favorites entering Saturday’s opener against Wyoming, Missouri looked every bit the part as they jumped out to a 14-0 lead on the home-standing Cowboys after one quarter of play. A 27-point offensive explosion in the second quarter, though gave the Mountain West Conference school a 27-17 lead heading into halftime; that lead was stretched to 34-17 at one point before the Cowboys held on for a 37-31 upset win over the Tigers.
Regardless of how you spin it, the Mizzou loss was a continuation of what has been a rough opening weekend for the SEC, especially the East Division of the league. How rough? Let us count the ways:
- First and foremost, Tennessee suffered arguably the worst loss in program history as they fell to 26-point underdog Georgia State in the school’s first home-opening defeat since 1983 and first loss to a Group of Five school since 2008 against… Wyoming, of all teams.
- South Carolina lost to a North Carolina team that won two games in 2018.
- Ole Miss lost to Memphis, although at least that loss came against a quality Group of Five foe.
- Again, Mizzou.
- Mississippi State needed a very late field goal to put away what was a 10-point win over a Louisiana team that entered the game as a 20-point underdog.
- TENNESSEE LOST TO A 26-POINT UNDERDOG AT HOME.
Yes, there was Alabama steamrolling Duke as expected… and Auburn outlasting Oregon in the only ranked-on-ranked matchup of Week 1… and LSU, unlike Tennessee, easily handling its business against a Georgia Group of Five school… but still, damn, that was a harsh weekend for The Best Damn Football Conference in the Land.
While we’re here talking about conferences, how about that Mountain West? In addition to the SEC courtesy of Wyoming, that league has collected Power Five pelts from the ACC (Boise State over Florida State), the Big Ten (Nevada over Purdue) and the Pac-12 (Hawaii over Arizona) in Weeks 0 and 1.
(*Yes, grammar dolts, I know. I’ll take literary license whenever I damn well please.)