Even tough Keytaon Thompson wore a non-contact yellow jersey at practice Tuesday, the quarterback competition rolls on in Starkville.
Speaking with reporters at Mississippi State football media day last weekend, Stevens expressed his thoughts on how his game has progressed through the first two weeks of fall camp as he continues to battle Thompson for the No. 1 job.
“I think that if you were to go by the numbers this is my best camp so far if you go by completion percentage and things that I’ve done throwing the football,” he said. “Obviously there’s been mistakes made and there’s been things I’ve been able to learn from watching tape so there’s room to improve. But overall I think I’ve done a really good job.”
But MSU coach Joe Moorhead remained coy on when he will name a starter — though he did double down on his loose timeline of wanting to name the No. 1 guy 10 days before the season opener against Louisiana Aug. 31 in New Orleans.
It’s no secret MSU is replacing plenty on the defensive line.
With Montez Sweat, Jeffery Simmons, Gerri Green and Braxton Hoyett off to the NFL, the Bulldogs will rely heavily on a bevy on older, albeit inexperienced, players up front in 2019.
Anchoring that bunch is senior defensive end Chauncey Rivers. A one-time Georgia player, Rivers is among the more experienced returners and is a logical replacement for Sweat on the outside.
“My knowledge of the game and knowing every detail of the defense has improved,” he said. “My pass rushing has gotten a lot better — I’m just ready to play.”
Rivers and Greenwood’s Marquiss Spencer, a 6-foot-4, 285-pound redshirt junior, will likely be the Bulldogs’ two starting ends.
Last year, Spencer was lost to a season-ending shoulder injury after just four games.
But if his performance in the spring game was any indication, Spencer is more than ready for a breakout season at defensive end. He had three solo tackles, one tackle for loss and one safety in the spring contest.
“It’s a lot of competition every day that makes the unit better,” Rivers said.