Coach Joe Moorhead had named Shrader the starter heading into the game. A source said his injury occurred in practice. According to a 247 Sports report, Shrader and one of the Bulldogs defenders were involved in an altercation after a practice drill on Thursday, which resulted in an eye injury for Shrader. Sources told 247 Sports that Shrader's eye will not require surgery and he could be recovered by the end of January.
Stevens, a graduate transfer from Penn State, started eight games for Mississippi State, while Shrader, a true freshman, started the other four. Shrader leads the Bulldogs in passing (1,170 yards) and ranks second on the team in rushing with 587 yards and six touchdowns on 113 carries. Stevens has a team-high nine touchdown passes and 310 rushing yards.
Both quarterbacks threw five interceptions and completed less than 60 percent of their attempts. Both also faced injuries during the regular season, including a rib injury that sidelined Stevens for the Egg Bowl against Ole Miss.