STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Keytaon Thompson threw for 364 yards and five touchdowns, Mississippi State had 17 tackles for a loss and the 18th-ranked Bulldogs cruised to a 63-6 victory over Stephen F. Austin on Saturday night in the season opener.
Joe Moorhead won his first game as Mississippi State's head coach, and the playbook showed some of the downfield passing prowess he's promised over the past months. The Bulldogs had completions of 53, 84, 27 and 30 yards for touchdowns.
Thompson, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound sophomore, made his second career start. He was pressed into action after senior Nick Fitzgerald was suspended for the season opener for a "violation of team policy" that Moorhead said happened in March.
The Bulldogs appeared unfazed by that bit of adversity and the program won its 14th straight game over an opponent from the Football Championship Subdivision level.
Thompson also ran for 109 yards and two touchdowns.