Pair of Bulldogs receive SEC awards


Mississippi State's Nick Fitzgerald, left, was chosen Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Week on Monday.

By: 
JOEL COLEMAN
Staff Writer

Mississippi State’s big 23-9 victory over Auburn this past Saturday helped the Bulldogs get their season back on the right track.

Now, it has also netted a pair of MSU players honors from the Southeastern Conference.

Both quarterback Nick Fitzgerald and defensive lineman Montez Sweat were picked players of the week on Monday. Fitzgerald was selected the SEC Offensive Player of the Week. Meanwhile Sweat was chosen the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week.

Fitzgerald accounted for 264 yards of total offense and a pair of touchdowns in State’s win over Auburn. A whopping 195 of Fitzgerald’s yards came on the ground. That total helped Fitzgerald surpass former Florida Gator Tim Tebow to become the SEC’s career record holder for rushing yardage by a quarterback. Fitzgerald now has 2,999 rushing yards for his career.

More importantly for Mississippi State, Fitzgerald looked like his old self Saturday after a pair of weeks where his production had slipped.

Fitzgerald gave the credit to his offensive line.

“Huge props to my five guys up front – the funky bunch as I call them,” Fitzgerald said. “They played really well and gave us an opportunity to win. I told those guys if they’d win, we’d win. That’s exactly what they did.”

As MSU’s offensive line succeeded, Auburn’s encountered issues. The biggest problem for the Tigers was Sweat. The Bulldogs’ pass-rushing specialist posted a career-high three sacks for a loss of 27 yards. He forced a fumble and had a pair of quarterback hurries that forced incompletions.

“(Mississippi State) has a dynamic pass rush, there is no doubt about that,” Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said following Saturday’s game of MSU’s defense led by Sweat.

Sweat now has 18 sacks in his career. That’s a total that sits seventh in Mississippi State history. Sweat leads the SEC and ranks second nationally this season with 7.5 sacks. His latest honor is the fifth time in his career he has earned the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week award, tying the most in SEC history.

Injury updates

Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead gave several injury updates following MSU’s win over Auburn on Saturday.

Defensive backs Jamal Peters and Brian Cole both missed the game, as did offensive lineman Darryl Williams.

Moorhead didn’t update Williams’ status, but did the statuses of Peters and Cole.

“Jamal has progressed,” Moorhead said. “He was out indefinitely and is now day-to-day going into the bye week. We’ll go into this week and see how he does.

“We didn’t find out the severity of the Brian Cole injury until later (last week). He is kind of day-to-day as well.”

MSU-LSU game time set

The game time for Mississippi State’s October 20 game at LSU is now set.

The SEC announced Monday that the Bulldogs and Tigers will kick off at 6 p.m. The game will be televised by ESPN.

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