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: Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald #7 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs scrambles for yardage against the Auburn Tigers during the second half of an NCAA college football game on Oct. 8, 2016 in Starkville, Mississippi. Auburn won 38-14. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
STARKVILLE, MS – OCTOBER 8: Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald #7 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs scrambles for yardage against the Auburn Tigers during the second half of an NCAA college football game on Oct. 8, 2016 in Starkville, Mississippi. Auburn won 38-14. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images) /

Can they return to form in 2018?

Absolutely. And, in theory, they could both be better.

Nick Fitzgerald should be fully healthy going into the season. He has a wealth of experience, an offensive line that is loaded, and has an arsenal of weapons around him to utilize at the skill positions. The Bulldogs have Aeris Williams and Kylin Hill at running back and have beefed up the wide receiver position immensely.

In addition to all of that, Joe Moorhead is an incredible mind when it comes to developing offenses and quarterbacks. With Moorhead’s leadership and guidance, Nick Fitzgerald should be able to take that next step as a passer and more efficiently utilize his receivers and running backs to improve the offense.

As for Leo Lewis, the new defensive schemes should be able to free him up to make more plays. The Mississippi State football team is switching up its defense this season and will rely on a 4-2-5 defense under Bob Shoop, the new defensive coordinator.

Plus, it’s not like quarterbacks will have a lot of time to sit back and make plays in 2018. The Bulldogs have an incredible defensive front that will force quarterbacks to rush their throws. Also, that front will slow running backs down, allowing the Bulldogs’ linebackers to jam them if they do get into open field.

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Mississippi State shouldn’t have to worry too much about production from these two in 2018. Both of them should be able to produce at a higher level than they did a season ago. And hopefully, both will be more efficient at their position than in 2016.