MSU

Mississippi State quarterback Garrett Shrader attempts to pass under Kansas State presssure during the second half of Saturday’s 31-24 loss in Starkville.

Quarterback Tommy Stevens may be better health wise than first expected.

Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead said Stevens' ailing throwing shoulder has improved greatly in spite of him leaving Mississippi State's game against Kansas State early in the second half.

"It was way better yesterday and today heading into tomorrow than it was at this point last week," Moorhead said during his weekly Monday press conference.

Stevens is still day-to-day with what MSU calls an "upper-body injury." His status for Saturday's game against Kentucky isn't solidified.

Stevens threw two interceptions and fumbled and had to leave the game with stiffness in his right shoulder early in the third quarter.

Eight players on the two-deep depth chart missed the game either to injuries or suspensions, and the Bulldogs’ kickoff team surrendered a 100-yard touchdown return immediately after taking a seven-point lead.

And to make matters worse, Kansas State’s average field position was its own 41-yard line.

Kylin Hill didn’t have the career game that he did against the Wildcats in 2018 but he still eclipsed the 100-yard plateau for the third consecutive game. Hill had 111 yards on 24 carries but was held out of the end zone.

Eight of the Bulldogs’ 15 drives failed to net a first down. Three of those came on MSU’s final four drives when trying to come from behind.

Until Mississippi State gets healthy and has everyone back on the field from suspensions, every week is going to be an adventure.

nTracking locals: Mississippi State was missing four starters and eight total players from its two-deep depth chart in Saturday’s 31-24 loss to Kansas State.

Starting defensive tackle Lee Autry and linebacker Willie Gay Jr. continued their suspensions for violations of team rules, while All-American cornerback Cameron Dantzler and left guard Dareuan Parker missed the game with lower body injuries.

Back-up running back Nick Gibson also missed the contest with a lower body injury causing the Bulldogs to play true freshman Lee Witherspoon in the backfield. Wide receiver Malik Dear served as the third team tailback.

Wide receiver Devonta Jason, offensive lineman Kwatrivous Johnson of Greenwood and safety Marcus Murphy also missed their third straight game due to suspensions.

Marquiss Spencer of Greenwood had just one tackle on the day against Kansas State, but it was behind the line of scrimmage. The former Greenwood High School standout now has eight stops in three games (seventh on the team), including one sack and two tackles for loss.

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