MSU football notebook: Other suspensions, team healthy going into opener

Staff Writer

Besides quarterback Nick Fitzgerald, two other Bulldogs won’t be available in Saturday’s game. Senior defensive lineman Cory Thomas is also suspended due to a violation of team rules.

Offensive lineman Michael Story, who was arrested on August 18 for a misdemeanor charge of aggravated cruelty to a cat or dog, also won’t play.

“We talk about choices, consequences, decision making and accountability,” Moorhead said. “(The suspended players) understand they will deal with the consequences of their choices and we will see those guys back on the field soon.”

Healthy Bulldogs

While MSU will be shorthanded due to suspensions on Saturday, the Bulldogs are all-systems-go from a health standpoint.

Moorhead said Monday the Bulldogs head into game week with no significant injuries.

“At this point, heading into the game, it’s just bumps and bruises,” Moorhead said. “There’s not anyone right now where you look at the injury report and say they’re going to miss the game or be out for an extended amount of time. We’re very fortunate. We’re pretty healthy for week one coming out of a very, very physical fall camp.”

Day to punt

Sophomore Tucker Day has won MSU’s starting punter job.

Day competed in the preseason with junior Kody Schexnayder, however it’s Day who will get the nod this weekend.

“At the end of the day, we chart all those things,” Moorhead said of what led to the decision to go with Day. “It really comes down to distance, hang time and operation. From that standpoint, both guys did a great job, but we felt like Day gave us the best chance to be successful. Hopefully we won’t be doing much punting because I’m not a big fan of the punt. It’s a necessary evil, so when we have to, Day will do a great job.”

Baldwin on scholarship

Senior long snapper Joel Baldwin is now on scholarship with Mississippi State. Moorhead announced the move on Monday.

Baldwin joins senior safety Stephen Adegoke as former walk-ons who have earned scholarships for the upcoming year.

“We brought Baldwin in early this week and sat him down in the office,” Moorhead said. “We told him we had to call his dad because we had an issue to discuss and his dad got nervous a little bit. We told him it would be an issue for him to figure out how to spend $25,000 because his son would be on scholarship this year. Just like for Adegoke, we brought (Baldwin) down in the team meeting and told the team we had an issue. We gave the team the same message. They mobbed him and it was awesome. A walk-on doesn’t get a lot of publicity or fanfare, but they do a great service to the team. Any time you can do that, it’s awesome. We’re very excited for Baldwin.”

Condolences sent

Moorhead began his Monday press conference offering condolences to the family of former Mississippi State football player Stan Black.

Black, a former defensive back for the Bulldogs from 1973 through 1976, was killed last week in a roadside vehicle accident just north of Canton.

“From the Mississippi State family, we want to extend our deepest thoughts and prayers to the family of Stan Black,” Moorhead said. “Stan was a terrific football player here at Mississippi State and a 1976 All-American. He was a two-time All-SEC defensive back. He passed away this past weekend giving assistance to somebody on the side of the road. Certainly, our thoughts and prayers are with him.”