STARKVILLE, Miss. — Head football coach Joe Moorhead talked about slow starts, winning the turnover battle and injuries during his weekly press conference on Monday.
But first, he opened up his weekly press conference by sending condolences to the family and friends of Fox 40 anchor Mike Sands, who lost his battle with cancer this past weekend.
Moorhead points to the turnover margin being his biggest takeaway from last week’s game.
In losses to Tennessee, LSU and Texas A&M, State was minus-7 in the turnover battle after starting the season plus-3 in wins against Louisiana, Southern Miss, Kansas State and Kentucky.
“We gave it away three times and didn’t get any, so we were minus-3 in the turnover battle, minus-6 the last two weeks and I think minus-7 over the last three, so it’s going to be very tough to win a lot of games when you’re turning it over and not creating very many turnovers,” Moorhead said.
He also addressed injuries, as he does every week, but this week’s list was rather long.
Senior corner Maurice Smitherman, who is out for the year, had surgery on his knee on Monday. Senior defensive end Fletcher Adams needs surgery for a lower-body injury of his own, and he’s also out for the year. Freshman cornerback Jarrian Jones is out for this week’s game with an upper-body injury. It is unknown when he’ll return to the field.
The following players are questionable to play against the Razorbacks:
Junior starting right guard Stewart Reese (upper-body)
Freshman linebacker Aaron Brule (lower-body)
Junior starting cornerback Cam Dantzler (upper-body)
Sophomore defensive tackle James Jackson (lower-body)
Junior starting safety C.J. Morgan (upper-body)
Freshman defensive tackle Nathan Pickering (upper-body)
The Bulldogs enter this week with a 3-5 (1-4 SEC) record, which includes four straight losses, but that doesn’t mean Moorhead is feeling desperate.
“I don’t think there’s desperation necessarily by any means,” Moorhead said.
But let’s be real, this week’s game is important. A loss this week against the Razorbacks would almost surely mean a six-game losing streak is in Mississippi State’s future with Alabama coming to Starkville after next week’s bye. Mississippi State hasn’t lost six games in a row since 2005 when the Bulldogs lost seven straight. However, Moorhead isn’t worried about the previous games as he continues to focus on a good week of practice and what lies ahead. He and the team know what’s ahead, so let’s hope for a good week of practice and a fast start in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and the Bulldog defense winning the turnover battle — all the ingredients required to pick up SEC win No. 2.
“You can’t look in the rear-view mirror,” Moorhead said. “You got to look through the front windshield to see what’s ahead of you. I know our kids are focused on everything we need to do this week to get ready to beat Arkansas,” he said.