Mississippi State QB Glad To Be Playing Once

FAYETTEVILLE -- One would think Michael Henig would feel more comfortable in an emergency room than a locker room.

His career at Mississippi State comes under the heading of major medical with all the injuries he's suffered.

Henig, a 6-foot, 185-pound sophomore quarterback, has dealt with everything from an injured left shoulder to a broken toe to a broken collarbone in his brief college football career.

"It's frustrating when you're ready to go out there and play a game but can't," Henig said. "It's really rough having to stand there and watch while your teammates are out there."

Henig came into the season with high hopes after he was named the Most Improved Offensive Player of the spring by Mississippi State's coaching staff. In the spring, he completed 33 of 61 passes (.541) for 333 yards, five touchdowns and one interception during three scrimmages.

But a string of bad luck soon followed.

Henig broke the second toe on his left foot in late June when he slipped while running up the stairs at his family's lake house to play a friend in a game of pool. The toe was shattered in three places.

Henig recovered, only to break his collarbone in the second quarter of a 15-0 loss to South Carolina in the season opener.

"When I got hurt again this year, it was a big deal," Henig said. "When I got back on the field, I felt like a quarterback who was ready to compete in the (Southeastern Conference). Then again, it gave me time to watch some more film and study the offense.

"At the same time, it was disappointing."

Henig said all the disappointment was worth it on Nov. 4 when Mississippi State beat Alabama 24-16 in Tuscaloosa.

In that game, he was 9 of 23 passing for 143 yards and two touchdowns and one interception.

"Oh, there's nothing better than that," Henig said. "You know, I'm from Alabama (Montgomery), so I had a lot of hometown folks who were at the game. It was a good feeling."

That win against the Crimson Tide gave the Bulldogs a fresh coat of confidence. Henig, too, said it could lead to better things.

"You know, we're heading in the right direction," he said. "We've shown that. Everybody knows we're heading in the right direction. Anytime you go out and beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa, that does wonders for your program."

Up next for Mississippi State, which had a bye last weekend, is No. 5 Arkansas at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at home.

At stake for Arkansas, which is riding a nine-game winning streak, is the SEC western division championship. Henig, however, said he and his teammates can't be overlooked.

On paper, it very much looks like a mismatch. Arkansas is 9-1 overall and 6-0 in the SEC. MSU is only 3-7 and 1-5.

"We didn't win enough games in the first part of the season for a bowl game," Henig said. "Now, we've still got a chance to ruin some team's season. Now we can really be a spoiler.

"We did that against Alabama. We've got Arkansas now, and we have a chance to take something away from them.

"They've got a great team. Thing is, we've got to make plays like we have the last couple of weeks. They've got a great running game and everybody knows it.

"If we can stop that running game, we've got a chance."

Hawgs Daily Top Stories