08/22 16:10 CDT Mississippi State names Tommy Stevens its starting QB
Mississippi State names Tommy Stevens its starting QB
By PAUL JONES
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) --- Penn State graduate transfer Tommy Stevens has won
the starting quarterback job at Mississippi State.
Stevens beat out junior Keytaon Thompson and will start Aug. 31 in New Orleans
when the Bulldogs' meet Louisiana-Lafayette in their season opener.
Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead is very familiar with Stevens from their
shared history at Penn State. Moorhead was Penn State's offensive coordinator
from 2016-17, while Stevens was a reserve quarterback for the Nittany Lions
"It was a great, great competition," Moorhead said Thursday. "Both guys are
similar in size and provide equal threats in the run game. We said the decision
making was going to come down to who could create explosive plays, who could
minimize turnovers and who can throw the ball with the best accuracy on a
consistent manner. So we informed the team that Tommy Stevens has earned the
right to be the starting quarterback for this year."
The 6-foot-5 Stevens went 24 of 41 for 304 yards with four touchdown passes and
one interception in 23 games at Penn State. Stevens also rushed for 506 yards
and eight touchdowns, and he caught 14 passes for 62 yards and two scores.
Stevens is replacing departed three-year starter Nick Fitzgerald, whose 3,607
career yards rushing were the most ever by a Southeastern Conference
"Tommy jumped out strong at the beginning of camp," Moorhead said. "Closing
into the first scrimmage, K.T. (Thompson) closed the gap and had a real nice
first scrimmage. From that point forward, Tommy continued to create separation
and did that toward the tail end of camp. We're certainly excited about what
K.T. did and how he performed. He is going to be an incredible asset for us and
he's going to help us win games this year, too."
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