Football facing adversity together after two straight conference defeats

On Saturday night, Mississippi State University’s football team faced the University of Florida in Starkville.

The familiar sounds of cowbells filled the stadium and could be heard in parts of Starkville. Gerri Green, a senior defensive lineman from Greenville, said it was incredible.

“It’s amazing, it’s one of the great things about playing in Davis Wade, the environment, how loud it gets,” Green said. “I’m thankful for all the fans who came out, I hope we keep that environment going.”

MSU (3-2, 0-2) struggled with pass completion and third down conversion in their game against Florida (4-1, 2-0) losing the game 13-6. Nick Fitzgerald, a senior quarterback from Richmond Hill, Georgia, said the offense has room to improve.

“This sucks, obviously, two weeks in a row,” Fitzgerald said. “Last year, we went to Georgia and went to Auburn, and we had our tails handed to us two weeks in a row. We came back and fought back the rest of the season. Obviously, we have the means to do it.”

Even with this particularly hard loss, the team offers each other a positive encouragement and a humble understanding of the future improvements they need to implement.

“We gotta stay positive, we love this game,” Green said. “It’s rough. No one ever said, ‘It’s going to be easy,’ so we’ve got to keep moving forward.”

As a key team leader, the team’s quarterback appeared to still have a positive mindset regarding the remainder of the season. He noted the team has seen this pattern before and they are capable of a comeback. Fitzgerald highlighted these abilities to grow and to continue to succeed on game day.

“We can’t get down on ourselves or count ourselves out by any means,” Fitzgerald said. “We’ll look at this film and get better. It is just little execution things. (If we fix) some things here and there, we will be fine.”

Another player who shared positive words following the defeat was Jeffery Simmons, a junior defensive lineman from Macon, who offered affirmative, honest feedback after a the game.

“This game meant a lot to a lot of people… to the seniors and to the people in the community,” Simmons said. “As bad as we wanted to win this game… it happened. We just have to move forward when adversity strikes.”

Head coach Joe Moorhead said the team will review the game’s film to see where they can improve, and then hopefully implement the necessary changes in practices to get the team where they need to be come game day.

“We’re certainly not where we want to be at this point in the season,” Moorhead said. “We’ve got a big game here at home versus Auburn before the bye week, and we got to figure out a way to get this thing right, rally together and get this thing headed in the right direction.”

Simmons said the past two losses gave the team adversity, but they will look to fight back and respond in practice.

“We just have to move forward when adversity strikes,” Simmons said. “With back-to-back losses, that is a lot of adversity hitting us right now, but with the team I know we have, the guys I know that are on this team, we are going to bounce back from the adversity and respond.”

MSU hosts University of Auburn in Starkville at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 6, and ESPN2 will televise the game.

Published on