Mississippi State Football Unveils 2024 Spring Game Format

Jeff Lebby's first spring game as Mississippi State football's head coach is this Saturday, and it will look a bit different than a typical spring game.
Sep 2, 2023; Starkville, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs wide receiver Jaden Walley
Sep 2, 2023; Starkville, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs wide receiver Jaden Walley / Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Mississippi State football's 2024 spring practices come to an end on Saturday with the playing of the Maroon and White Spring Game. The spring game will be the first for new head coach Jeff Lebby in Starkville, and it's a highly-anticipated event.

Bulldog fans are anxious to see what the program will look like under Lebby and catch a glimpse of what they'll see on the field this fall. Lebby is bringing an exciting new offense to Mississippi State that's unlike anything we've ever seen run here before. And the roster is glaringly different that what it looked like a year ago.

This will be a very new experience for State fans which means there's higher excitement than normal around the spring game. On Thursday, MSU announced the format for the 2024 Maroon and White Game, and it's quite different than what most fans are used to.

Rather than splitting the roster into two teams, the spring game will be an "Offense vs Defense" matchup. As a result, a unique scoring system has been put in place to try and create a competitive playing field between the two sides of the ball.

For the offense, you'll see some of the normal scoring you're used to in football. A touchdown is worth six points, a field goal worth three, an extra point one, and a two point conversion two.

Defense is where things get interesting. A defensive touchdown is worth 12 points, twice as much as usual. Turnovers and fourth-down stops are worth seven points. A forced punt is worth five, a missed field goal three, and both a missed extra point and failed two point conversion are worth two. The defense also earns three points for a made field goal as well, which I assume is a reward for holding the offense to a kick as opposed to a touchdown.

You'll also notice that, interestingly, the offense gets two points for a punt. You wouldn't normally expect the offense to be rewarded for punting (unless it's Iowa), but the point is to stress to the offense that a punt is a far better outcome than a turnover.

So why Offense vs Defense as opposed to a traditional scrimmage? I imagine the reasoning is to maximize reps for players on both sides of the ball. You can keep certain players out there for as long as you'd like rather than their playing time being contingent on how the game plays out.

For a team breaking in a new system on both sides of the ball, that's probably for the best. This should be an exciting preview for the 2024 football season on Saturday as part of a fantastic Super Bulldog Weekend!