Mississippi State star quarterback Nick Fitzgerald suspended for season opener

On a day when so many teams were announcing their starting quarterbacks for the 2018 season, Mississippi State went a different direction. New coach Joe Moorhead announced that Nick Fitzgerald won't be starting the Bulldogs opener against Stephen F. Austin due to a suspension.

While he didn't go into details, Moorhead said that Fitzgerald violated team rules back in March.

Now, it's hard to imagine that Fitzgerald's absence will mean much as far as the outcome of the game, but it's still notable that Moorhead is willing to suspend his starting quarterback during his first game as coach at Mississippi State.

Fitzgerald's 2017 season ended early when he suffered a broken ankle during the first quarter of the Egg Bowl against rival Ole Miss. He still managed to post excellent numbers, throwing for 1,782 yards, rushing for 984 more and scoring a total of 29 touchdowns through the air and on the ground.

Keytaon Thompson will start in Fitzgerald's place. Thompson was a four-star recruit in Mississippi State's 2017 class, and he replaced Fitzgerald following his injury last season. He accounted for 322 yards passing and 268 yards rushing against Ole Miss and Louisville in a bowl game.

CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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