Joe Moorhead is Mississippi State’s new football coach
Mississippi State has found its next football coach in Joe Moorhead.
Moorhead, who’s overseen Penn State’s recent offensive resurgence, has been tabbed as the Bulldogs’ 33rd head coach. The school officially announced Moorhead’s hiring Wednesday morning after reports began surfacing Tuesday night.
Moorhead replaces Dan Mullen, who left after nine seasons at the helm to take the same post at Florida.
“During our search, it became unequivocally clear who our next football coach was and that man was Joe Moorhead,” MSU athletic director John Cohen said in a statement. “Joe is a winner, a man of integrity with a blue-collar work ethic and an ability to motivate others that our student-athletes will gravitate to. His innovative offensive philosophy is a perfect fit for our program and will keep us on a path to competing for championships.”
Moorhead spent the last two seasons as Penn State’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. The big numbers posted by his offense helped the Nittany Lions go 21-5, including a 17-3 mark in Big Ten play, with a Big Ten championship during his brief tenure.
Penn State scored at least 30 points in 21 of those games and averaged 39.4 points per game during that span. The Nittany Lions are in the top 25 nationally this season in points per game (41.6), passing efficiency (153.5), yards per play (6.55), passing yards per game (285.8) and red-zone offense (91.1-percent conversion rate).
Penn State’s offensive performance under Moorhead has been spearheaded by the development of quarterback Trace McSorley, a Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award finalist, and Heisman Trophy candidate Saquon Barkley at running back. McSorley is just the second player in Big Ten history to record 25 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing scores in a season while Barkley is second nationally this season in all-purpose yardage (179.5 yards per game).