Mississippi State Football:Can Leo Lewis And Nick Fitzgerald Replicate Their 2016 Success?

STARKVILLE, MS - OCTOBER 8: Wide receiver Keith Mixon #23 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs celebrates with quarterback Nick Fitzgerald #7 after he scores a touchdown against the Auburn Tigers during the second half of an NCAA college football game on Oct. 8, 2016 in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
STARKVILLE, MS - OCTOBER 8: Wide receiver Keith Mixon #23 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs celebrates with quarterback Nick Fitzgerald #7 after he scores a touchdown against the Auburn Tigers during the second half of an NCAA college football game on Oct. 8, 2016 in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images) /
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STARKVILLE, MS – OCTOBER 8: Wide receiver Keith Mixon #23 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs celebrates with quarterback Nick Fitzgerald #7 after he scores a touchdown against the Auburn Tigers during the second half of an NCAA college football game on Oct. 8, 2016 in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
STARKVILLE, MS – OCTOBER 8: Wide receiver Keith Mixon #23 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs celebrates with quarterback Nick Fitzgerald #7 after he scores a touchdown against the Auburn Tigers during the second half of an NCAA college football game on Oct. 8, 2016 in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images) /

Mississippi State football needs both Nick Fitzgerald and Leo Lewis to succeed in 2018

The Mississippi State football team needs Nick Fitzgerald to be back. And, well, the Bulldogs need Leo Lewis to play as he is fully capable of.

Both Fitzgerald and Lewis were incredible in 2016. Fitz totaled 3798 yards of offense and scored 37 touchdowns. Lewis made his presence felt on the defensive side of things and made 79 tackles as a redshirt freshman.

But last year, these two Bulldogs hit a bit of a slump and weren’t as successful as they had been the season before. There were moments in the 2017 season that Mississippi State needed Fitzgerald and Lewis to show up more than they did.

Leo Lewis had a combined 6 tackles against Georgia and Auburn last year. Nick Fitzgerald completed 27 of his 76 passes for 240 yards, 1 touchdown, and 4 interceptions in these two games while running for a total of 103 yards.

MSU lost both games by a combined score of 80-13.

The Bulldogs needed more from both. And, granted, these two losses aren’t solely on these two players. That’s not what I’m saying. But, the Mississippi State football team will need more from two of its leaders in big games like this in 2018.

All stats from Sports-Reference.com