Mississippi State Reportedly 'Exploring' Firing Head Coach Joe Moorhead

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJanuary 3, 2020

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 12: Head coach Joe Moorhead of the Mississippi State Bulldogs looks on during a game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium on October 12, 2019 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Mississippi State is exploring the idea of firing football head coach Joe Moorhead, per Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports:

Moorhead has coached the Bulldogs to a 14-11 record since joining the program in 2018. He spent two years as Penn State's offensive coordinator before arriving in Starkville.

ESPN's Adam Rittenberg provided more context on Mississippi State's decision:

The Bulldogs ended their season with a 6-7 record after a 38-28 loss to Louisville in the Music City Bowl. 

Mississippi State's season included a 1-5 midseason stretch that dropped the Bulldogs to a 3-5 mark. The Bulldogs did win three of their final four regular-season games including a 21-20 Egg Bowl win over Ole Miss.

However, Mississippi State allowed 31 unanswered points en route to its 10-point Music City Bowl defeat.

The Bulldogs played without freshman quarterback Garrett Shrader. Per Brad Logan of the Clarion-Ledger, he suffered a broken orbital bone after an alleged practice fight with linebacker Willie Gay.

Tyler Horka of the Clarion Ledger put the alleged incident in context of the team's season:

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

"The altercation links two of the biggest story lines of Mississippi State's season. Gay was one of 10 football players suspended for an unspecified violation of team rules. Gay has missed eight games this season because of the suspension. 

"Shrader, meanwhile, has been the center of attention for bouncing in and out of the starting lineup. Shrader has started four games in his true freshman season but has played in nine. He's relieved graduate senior Tommy Stevens multiple times as Stevens has been injury-prone throughout the year."

Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated noted that the team's plan was to keep Moorhead after the Egg Bowl win but that school brass has been in "deep discussion" since the Music City Bowl defeat.

Moorhead, 46, also coached at Division I-FCS Fordham from 2012-2015, leading the Rams to a 38-13 mark. He left for PSU in 2016.