01/04/18 - (SS) - Mark McLaurin, Jr, 6-1, 215 2017 ASSOCIATED PRESS ALL-BOWL TEAM: Secondary: Mark McLaurin, Mississippi State (TaxSlayer): McLaurin picked off 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson three times and also delivered 11 tackles in the 24th-ranked Bulldogs' 31-27 victory over Louisville. - AP College Football
12/30/17 - (SS) - Mark McLaurin, Jr, 6-1, 215 No. 23 Mississippi State got three interceptions from safety Mark McLaurin and got 274 yards of total offense and three touchdowns from freshman backup quarterback Keytaon Thompson to beat Louisville 31-27 Saturday in the TaxSlayer Bowl at EverBank Field. Thompson's big day included 147 yards rushing and 11-of-20 passing for 127 yards. Louisville's 2016 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Lamar Jackson had 158 yards rushing, but threw a career-high four interceptions, including one on a crucial fourth-quarter drive with Louisville (8-5) down 31-27. Mississippi State (9-4) took an early 7-0 lead, scoring rather easily on a 56-yard drive capped by an Aeris Williams 5-yard run. Louisville answered with a nine-play, 51-yard touchdown drive, which was punctuated by a 5-yard touchdown pass from Jackson to Charles Standberry.
The Bulldogs marched right back down the field 79 yards to push ahead 14-7 on a 14-yard run by Thompson. Jackson matched Thompson's touchdown run with one of his own to start the third quarter, tying the score 14-14. After Mississippi State got a 23-yard field goal from Jace Christmann, the Cardinals executed a lightning-quick, three-play, 88-yard touchdown drive in the final minute before halftime. Jackson broke free for a 75-yard run, the longest of his career, and then found Jaylen Smith in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown on the next play. Up 21-17 at the half despite being out-gained 244-223 and converting on just two of seven third downs, Louisville added to its lead with a 23-yard field goal by Blanton Creque with 3:14 left in the third quarter. Jackson, who hadn't thrown an interception since October, threw picks on back-to-back drives in the third quarter. - The Sports Xchange
12/13/17 - (OT) - Martinas Rankin, rSr, 6-5, 315 2017 ALL-SEC FIRST TEAM (COACHES): OL Martinas Rankin, Mississippi State,...Rankin became the first offensive lineman to earn first-team accolades at offensive line since former Bulldog and current Oakland Raider Gabe Jackson in 2013. Rankin served as a team captain over the 2017 season and anchored an offensive line that allowed MSU to rush for 2,995 yards, which ranks third in the league. The Bulldogs average 249.6 yards per game, ranking 14th nationally, third in the SEC and is the best rushing yards per game since MSU's school record of 280.5 was set in 1980. The Mendenhall, Miss., native has guided a State offensive line that has allowed just 11 sacks over the 2017 season, which is the fewest by any Power 5 team this year and the sixth-fewest in the FBS. The 11 sacks are the fewest given up in MSU school history. The trio of Bulldogs return to action on Saturday, Dec. 30 as MSU battle Louisville in the TaxSlayer Bowl. The 11 a.m. CT kickoff at Everbank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., will be televised by ESPN. - Mississippi State Football
12/13/17 - (DE) - Montez Sweat, Jr, 6-5, 241 2017 ALL-SEC FIRST TEAM (COACHES): DL Montez Sweat, Mississippi State,...In his debut season as a Bulldog, Sweat led the conference and ranked ninth nationally with 9.5 sacks. He is the first Bulldog to lead the SEC in sacks since Willie Evans in 2005. Sweat's 9.5 sacks rank ninth in MSU single-season history and are the most by a Bulldog since Evans totaled 15.0 over the 2005 season. The Stone Mountain, Ga., native earned three SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week laurels, becoming the first Bulldog to do so since Smith in 2014. The junior totaled 12.5 tackles for loss, ranking fourth in the conference, while his 63 yards for loss ranks fifth in the league. Sweat closed the regular season with 44 total tackles and added a fumble recovery. - Mississippi State Football
12/13/17 - (DT) - Jeffery Simmons, So, 6-3, 301 2017 ALL-SEC FIRST TEAM (COACHES): DL Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State,...Simmons, a two-time SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week honoree, dominated a MSU defense that saw a complete overhaul and closed the regular season ranking in the top 20 in four categories nationally. The Bulldog defense allowed just 302.0 yards per game to rank 10th nationally and is the best mark by MSU since 1999. Despite being double-team over the majority of the season, Simmons could not be contained and tallied a total of 57 tackles. Over his sophomore campaign, the Macon, Miss., native totaled 11.0 tackles for loss, including a career-best 4.5 sacks, to rank 10th in the league. Simmons has forced and recovered two fumbles over the season and has blocked three kicks on special teams, tying SMU's Justin Lawler for the national lead. He tallied two touchdowns on the road at Louisiana Tech this season to become the first MSU defensive player to score twice in a game since Johnathan Banks against Florida in 2009. - Mississippi State Football
11/27/17 - (QB) - Nick Fitzgerald, rJr, 6-4, 230 Mississippi State redshirt junior QB Nick Fitzgerald (6-4, 227, 4.68, #7) suffered a gruesome dislocated ankle in the Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving night and underwent surgery on Friday. He will be sidelined for the next few months from football activities, which many assumed would keep him from leaving school early for the NFL Draft. But with Dan Mullen accepting the head coach job at Florida, rumors circulated that Fitzgerald might look to leave as well. However, he put that gossip to rest on Sunday, tweeting "I am very excited to be able to lead this team to a new level next season!" - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
11/24/17 - (QB) - Nick Fitzgerald, rJr, 6-4, 230 Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald underwent ankle surgery Friday morning after being injured in Thursday's loss against Mississippi, multiple media outlets reported. Fitzgerald will not play in the Bulldogs' bowl game, but he is expected to return for the 2018 season. His father told the Clarion-Ledger that he will be healthy in time to participate in spring football practice. Derrick Fitzgerald told the newspaper that the surgery was performed to repair a broken bone in his son's ankle, and that there would be a recovery period of six to eight weeks before rehab could begin. Fitzgerald was carted off the field during Mississippi State's 31-28 loss to Mississippi, and coach Dan Mullen said after the game that Fitzgerald suffered a dislocated ankle.
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Fitzgerald had his leg bent at an awkward angle after being tackled. Fitzgerald's leg was placed in an air cast and he was carted off the field. In a tweet on Friday, Fitzgerald said. "I'll be back stronger and better than ever! I love all my Hailstate fam and all I want right now is for all of y'all to ring your bells as loud as you can and support this team to a huge egg bowl win! #HaiIState" Freshman Keytaon Thompson replaced Fitzgerald, and he finished 13 of 27 for 195 yards passing with one touchdown and one interception. He also ran for 121 yards and a score. Fitzgerald entered Thursday's game as the Southeastern Conference's leading rusher among quarterbacks, with 968 yards. He has thrown for 1,770 yards, 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He was within range of becoming the first player in SEC history with multiple seasons of 2,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards, according to ESPN. - The Sports Xchange
11/24/17 - (QB) - Nick Fitzgerald, rJr, 6-4, 230 Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald sustained an ugly-looking leg injury in the first quarter against Mississippi on Thursday and was carted off the field. The junior had his leg bent backward on a running play. Medical personnel tended to him and placed his leg in an air cast. School officials said Fitzgerald sustained an ankle injury and announced that the extent of the damage remained uncertain. Fitzgerald returned to the sideline to cheer on the Bulldogs after halftime. He also tweeted, "I'll be back stronger and better than ever! I love all my Hailstate fam and all I want right now is for all of y'all to ring your bells as loud as you can and support this team to a huge egg bowl win! #HaiIState" Fitzgerald completed just 1 of 5 passes for 12 yards and threw an interception in the game against Ole Miss. Keytaon Thompson replaced him at quarterback. - The Sports Xchange
11/20/17 - (DE) - Montez Sweat, Jr, 6-5, 241 NOV 20 SEC DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK: Montez Sweat, DL, Mississippi State...Sweat had another dominating game, collecting a career-high 2.5 sacks in a 28-21 win at Arkansas. He finished with four overall tackles...Sweat's 2.5 sacks were the most by an SEC player this week and the most by a Bulldog since Chris White had 2.5 vs. Florida on Oct. 16, 2010...It upped his season total to 9.0, which is tied for ninth in MSU single-season history and tied for the most by a Bulldog in the last 12 years (Preston Smith of the Washington Redskins had 9.0 in 2014)...State limited Arkansas to 221 yards of total offense, the fewest allowed by MSU vs. an SEC foe this season. Arkansas managed only 86 rushing yards against Sweat's unit. - SEC Football
11/18/17 - (QB) - Nick Fitzgerald, rJr, 6-4, 230 Nick Fitzgerald threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Deddrick Thomas with 17 seconds left, capping a fourth-quarter rally and lifting No. 16 Mississippi State to a 28-21 victory over Arkansas on Saturday. Mississippi State (8-3, 4-3 SEC) started its game-winning drive at the Arkansas 44 after Razorbacks quarterback Austin Allen threw incomplete on fourth down with 3:01 left to play. Fitzgerald ran for 2 yards on fourth-and-1 from the 35, then broke free three plays later for a 13-yard run to the 6. After Fitzgerald was stopped for no gain on first down, he threw a low pass to Thomas in the right corner of the end zone for the game-winning score. Arkansas (4-7, 1-6) led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and held a 21-14 lead for most of the fourth quarter. But Fitzgerald found freshman wide receiver Reginald Todd for a 37-yard touchdown on a third-down play with 3:57 left in the game. Jace Christmann's extra point tied the score at 21. Fitzgerald completed 12 of 23 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran for 101 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries as Mississippi State beat Arkansas for the fifth time in the past six meetings.
Arkansas took advantage of a pair of early turnovers. The Razorbacks failed to generate a first down on the game's opening possession, but the ensuing punt hit a Mississippi State player in the back and was recovered by Arkansas' Reid Miller at the Mississippi State 36. Three plays later, David Williams scored on a 3-yard run for a 7-0 lead. Later in the first quarter, Mississippi State's Nick Gibson fumbled on a hit by Arkansas defensive end McTelvin Agin, with Briston Guidry recovering the ball in the end zone to make it 14-0. Mississippi State answered with two second-quarter touchdowns. Fitzgerald ran 18 yards for a TD with 5:17 left in the first half to cap a 50-yard drive. - The Sports Xchange
11/04/17 - (QB) - Nick Fitzgerald, rJr, 6-4, 230 Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns as No. 16 Mississippi State fought back from a seven-point halftime deficit to beat Massachusetts 34-23 on Saturday. UMass (2-7) intercepted three passes in the game, one going for a touchdown, and put up 350 yards of offense on MSU's top 25 defensive unit. Trailing 20-13 to start the second half, the Bulldogs (7-2) scored on back-to-back offensive drives as Fitzgerald had 8- and 10-yard touchdown runs. That didn't stop the Minutemen from staying in the game. With the Bulldogs in control and moving the ball on offense, they tried a trick play, with a pass downfield from wide receiver Reggie Todd. The throw was intercepted, giving UMass new life.
The Minutemen drove inside the 10-yard line but managed only a field goal to make the score 27-23 with 8:11 left in the game. Mississippi State's defense came up with a stop on UMass' next possession, and then punt returner Deddrick Thomas helped put the game away with an 83-yard return for a touchdown with 5:00 left. MSU had 393 yards of total offense, with 254 coming on the ground. Aeris Williams rushed for 114 yards as he and Fitzgerald went for 100 yards in the same game for the third time this year. Fitzgerald added 139 yards on 14-of-25 passing with two interceptions. - The Sports Xchange
10/30/17 - (QB) - Nick Fitzgerald, rJr, 6-4, 230 OCT 30 SEC CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Nick Fitzgerald, QB, Mississippi State...Fitzgerald accounted for 246 yards of total offense and three touchdowns as MSU beat No. 24 Texas A&M, 35-14, in what was the Bulldogs' largest margin of victory over a ranked opponent on the road since 1942 (def. #12 Vandy, 33-0)...Fitzgerald rushed for 105 yards on 18 carries with one score, marking his third straight 100-yard rush game...It was the 12th of his career - the most by an QB in a career in SEC history...Fitzgerald also threw for two scores and 141 yards. He closed the game out when he recovered an on-side kick in the final minutes as a member of the "hands" team. - SEC Football
10/30/17 - (DE) - Montez Sweat, Jr, 6-5, 241 OCT 30 SEC DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State...Sweat was all over the field for the second straight week, collecting six tackles and a career-best two sacks in MSU's 35-14 win at No. 24 Texas A&M in what was the Bulldogs' largest margin of victory over a ranked opponent on the road since 1942 (def. #12 Vandy, 33-0)...Sweat's two sacks were the most by a Bulldog in an SEC game since last season's Egg Bowl...Sweat and MSU limited A&M to a season-low 14 points and held the Aggies to 96 rushing yards and 285 total yards, which was 116 yards below their season average. - SEC Football
10/28/17 - (QB) - Nick Fitzgerald, rJr, 6-4, 230 Nick Fitzgerald rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown, and the Mississippi State defense turned three Texas A&M interceptions into touchdowns as the Bulldogs beat the Aggies 35-14 on Saturday in College Station, Texas. Jamal Peters returned the third interception of Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond 90 yards for a touchdown to put the game away midway through the fourth quarter.
Mond completed just 8 of 26 passes. Nick Starkel came on in relief in the fourth quarter. Fitzgerald was 12 of 21 for 141 yards and two touchdowns and rushed a score. The lone bright spot for Texas A&M (5-3, 3-2 SEC) came when the game was out of reach. Mond connected with Camron Buckley on a 70-yard pass play that saw Buckley drag Mississippi State defenders the final 10 yards into the end zone to make it 35-14 with 5:12 remaining. Mississippi State (6-2, 3-2), which won its third straight game, piled up 229 yards on the ground. The Bulldogs are 6-0 when they rush for more than 200 yards. - The Sports Xchange
10/23/17 - (OG) - Deion Calhoun, rJr, 6-3, 315 OCT 23 SEC OFFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK: Deion Calhoun, RG, Mississippi State...Calhoun, making his 17th career start at right guard, graded out the highest (93%) in the Bulldogs' 45-7 win against Kentucky with three knockdowns...He paved the way for an MSU offense that rushed for 282 yards against a Wildcat defense that came in 10th nationally against the run, allowing only 97.2 yards per game...State also did not allow a sack on the day...For the season, MSU has allowed the fewest sacks among Autonomy 5 teams and the second-fewest overall behind only Army. - SEC Football
10/23/17 - (DE) - Montez Sweat, Jr, 6-5, 241 OCT 23 SEC DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State...Sweat, making the start at defense end in the 4-3, had his most disruptive day as a Bulldog, registering career highs in tackles (7), tackles for loss (2.5) and sacks (1.5 for 10 yards) in a 45-7 win against Kentucky...Sweat was in the backfield all day as State limited UK to 115 yards rushing...His 2.5 tackles for loss were the most by a Bulldog in a game this season. - SEC Football
10/21/17 - (QB) - Nick Fitzgerald, rJr, 6-4, 230 Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald accounted for three touchdowns as the Bulldogs rolled past Kentucky 45-7 at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Miss., on Saturday. Fitzgerald ran for two touchdowns, including a 40-yard burst late in the second quarter that sent the Bulldogs into halftime with a 17-7 lead. Fitzgerald opened the third quarter with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Thomas, the first of 28 unanswered points for Mississippi State in the second half. Fitzgerald completed 18 of 26 passes for 155 yards and rushed for 115 yards on 12 carries. The Bulldogs (5-2, 2-2 SEC) poured it on in the fourth quarter. Junior linebacker Gerri Germaine Green returned an interception 84 yards for a touchdown that put Mississippi State up 38-7 early in the fourth quarter.
Wildcats receiver Blake Bone fell on Benny Snell Jr.'s fumble in the end zone for a Kentucky touchdown that tied the score 7-7 midway through the second quarter. It was all Mississippi State from there. The Bulldogs rushed for 282 yards, averaging 5.9 yards per carry. They outgained Kentucky by 179 yards and possessed the ball for nearly 10 more minutes than the Wildcats, who never found any rhythm on offense. Kentucky quarterback Stephen Johnson completed 13 of 28 passes with no touchdowns and two interceptions. The Wildcats (5-2, 2-2 SEC) had their two-game winning streak snapped. - The Sports Xchange
10/14/17 - (QB) - Nick Fitzgerald, rJr, 6-4, 230 Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald ran for two touchdowns and threw for two others as the Bulldogs defeated Brigham Young 35-10 on Saturday at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Miss. Fitzgerald recorded touchdowns runs of 15 and 14 yards in the first half and completed a 9-yard pass to Donald Gray for another first-half touchdown as the Bulldogs opened a 21-3 lead at halftime. The lead could have been greater but Fitzgerald was picked off in the end zone and the Bulldogs receivers dropped a handful of passes. BYU (1-6) came into the game averaging just 14.0 points per game (127th in the country). The Cougars were unable to capitalize on the Bulldogs' early mistakes and seldom threatened on a day in which they gained 176 yards.
The Bulldogs (4-2) dominated the first half, outgaining the Cougars 302 yards to 121. Mississippi State finished with 546 yards in total offense and amassed 35 first downs to the Cougars' eight
Mississippi State came out with a head of steam in the second half and drove 75 yards in seven plays to take a 28-3 lead when Fitzgerald hooked up with Jamal Crouch for a 32-yard scoring strike. Fitzgerald completed 19 of 30 passes for 241 yards, but he did throw two interceptions to go with his pair of touchdowns. He also rushed for 103 yards. The junior quarterback moved into second place in career touchdowns at Mississippi State with 60. Current Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is the all-time leader with 114. - The Sports Xchange
10/02/17 - (QB) - Nick Fitzgerald, rJr, 6-4, 230 Inside the League's Josh Washburn, a former Redskins scout, said Mississippi State QB Nick Fitzgerald showed "questionable accuracy" and "forced his WR to make a tough adjustment" in the Bulldogs' 49-10 loss to Auburn Saturday. – Insidetheleague.com
09/21/17 - (QB) - Nick Fitzgerald, rJr, 6-4, 230 Week 3 Stock Report: Who helped themselves? Nick Fitzgerald, QB, Mississippi State, rJR. (6-4, 227, 4.68, #7)...Replacing arguably the best player in program history is an unenviable task, but Fitzgerald has embraced that challenge. Last season as a redshirt sophomore, he did an admirable job as a first-year starter in the SEC, posting 37 total touchdowns (21 passing, 16 rushing). Known as a better runner than passer, Fitzgerald's best plays were generated with his legs, which was reflected in the stat sheet with only 54.3-percent completions. However, he showed steady improvement through the air over the second half of last season and that positive progression has carried over to this season.
Against LSU on Saturday night, Fitzgerald completed 65.2 percent of his throws and scored four touchdowns, two on the ground and two through the air as the Bulldogs dominated the Tigers, 37-7. His inconsistent mechanics will alter his accuracy, but he makes whole-field reads and delivers with placement. Although he is still far from a finish product, Fitzgerald's decision-making and awareness have improved by leaps and bounds -- and that development along with his physical traits are why NFL scouts are excited about his trajectory. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
09/18/17 - (QB) - Nick Fitzgerald, rJr, 6-4, 230 SEPT 18 SEC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Nick Fitzgerald, QB, Mississippi State...Fitzgerald accounted for four touchdowns in the most dominant victory over No. 11 LSU in the series' 111-year history, which also was MSU's largest margin of victory over a ranked opponent since 1942...He completed an efficient 15-of-23 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns...He added 88 yards rushing, averaging 6.3 yards per carry with two scores on the ground...He finished with 260 yards of total offense and moved into second place in MSU career touchdowns responsible with now 55, surpassing Don Smith. - SEC Football
09/18/17 - (OG) - Darryl Williams, rSo, 6-2, 305 SEPT 18 SEC OFFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK: Darryl Williams, OL, Mississippi State...Williams graded out the highest for MSU (99%) in the most dominant win over No. 11 LSU in program history (37-7)....He added three knockdowns in the start and paved the way for an MSU rushing attack that racked up 285 yards rushing, the most allowed by LSU since Nov. 14, 2015...Williams has helped anchor a Bulldog line that has issued just one sack all season, the fewest in the league this year. Williams provided protection for 465 yards of total offense. - SEC Football
09/18/17 - (DT) - Jeffery Simmons, So, 6-3, 301 SEPT 18 SEC DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK: Jeffery Simmons, DL, Mississippi State...Simmons has proved to be one of the SEC's top defensive lineman through three weeks and he did it again in the win over No. 11 LSU...He collected a career-best seven tackles, including a career-high 1.5 sacks for a loss of six yards...He also added two quarterback hurries and dominated the line of scrimmage. The Bulldogs held LSU to 133 yards rushing, its fewest since Nov. 5 last season. - SEC Football
09/18/17 - (QB) - Nick Fitzgerald, rJr, 6-4, 230 Despite evaluating Mason Rudolph's performance in Oklahoma State's rout of Pittsburgh, former Bills and Saints scout Ryan Hollern wrote that Mississippi State's Nick Fitzgerald had the "most impressive performance" Saturday night on Inside the League's @ITLScoutsNotes Twitter feed. - Insidetheleague.com
09/17/17 - (QB) - Nick Fitzgerald, rJr, 6-4, 230 Mississippi State scored on seven straight possessions from the second quarter into the fourth on Saturday and beat No. 12 LSU in Starkville for the first time since 1999. The Bulldogs' offense and defense combined for a dominating effort on their way to a 37-7 blowout win. Holding a 17-7 lead at the break, MSU came out strong in the second half. A couple of Jace Christmann kicks sandwiched a back-breaking play-action pass from Nick Fitzgerald to Keith Mixon for a 45-yard score that had the Bulldogs leading 30-7 heading to the final quarter. Fitzgerald put the Tigers away early in the fourth when he found Deddrick Thomas in the end zone for a 20-yard pass making it 37-7. LSU was outgained by the Bulldogs 465-270 on the night as MSU racked up 285 rushing yards. Aeris Williams carried the load for MSU with 23 carries, 146 yards and a touchdown. Fitzgerald was 15-of-23 for 180 yards and two touchdowns passing, adding another 88 on the ground with two more scores.
After a scoreless first quarter, LSU and Mississippi State brought the offense with them in the second quarter. The Bulldogs struck first in the opening possession of the second quarter when Fitzgerald scored from 2 yards out. LSU answered with an 8-play, 65-yard drive capped by Darrel Williams' 10-yard run to tie the game at 7. A 30-yard field goal from Christmann made it 10-7, and the Bulldogs defense gave MSU one last shot at a score before the half. Fitzgerald manufactured a 10-play, 54-yard drive and scored from 3 yards away to give MSU the 17-7 halftime lead. LSU's Derrius Guice had 15 carries for 76 yards and was held to 17 yards after the half. - The Sports Xchange