STARKVILLE -- Statistically, the Mississippi State football team ranked in the top half in the Southeastern Conference last week prior to its game against BYU.
STARKVILLE -- The Starkville High School football team has plenty of go-to players.
Coach Chris Jones doesn't hesitate to call on any of those playmakers on offense.
On the other side of the football, Starkville defensive coordinator Kevie Thompson has one player he looks to when he needs a play to be made. In those cases, Thompson looks to middle linebacker Jacob Williams and says "stop the bleeding."
At the lowest of times, it was a statement of the unfortunate fact; in others, it was reason for optimism for the future. In either case, every time Mississippi State men's basketball coach Ben Howland said it -- and he said it often -- it was true.
STARKVILLE -- As soon as Logan Burnett heard the word, 'interesting,' he pulled out his phone and went to Instagram.
STARKVILLE -- Of all defensive coordinators qualified to discuss quarterbacks who are difficult to sack, Todd Grantham has to be near the top of that list.
STARKVILLE -- Chris Chambless knows Aeris Williams' durability better than most.
The West Point High School football coach saw Williams work at practice on a daily basis. He also watched Williams carry the football 22 carries per game as a junior and a senior.
STARKVILLE -- With Elgton Jenkins in front of him and Aeris Williams walling off a defender to his right, Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald took off down the right side.
STARKVILLE -- Once again, Dan Mullen was talking about the rope.
Mississippi State's football coach has taken to using a rope as a training mechanism and metaphorical device. A player grabs a rope and fights against a strong force trying to pull the rope from his grasp. It's an exercise of strength, but it means more than that.
STARKVILLE -- Defensive coordinator Kevie Thompson isn't hard to pick out on the Starkville High School football team's sideline.
More times than not, Thompson is the one flying through the air pumping his fist and creeping onto the field more than officials would like him to.
Thompson wasn't the only one who had that energy Friday night.
STARKVILLE -- Gabe Myles' return to the Mississippi State football team wasn't quiet -- not that anyone expected it to be.
"Gabe ain't shut up since he's been back," MSU wide receiver Donald Gray said.
STARKVILLE -- Nick Fitzgerald rushed for two touchdowns in the first half, and Brandon Bryant's fourth-quarter interception helped seal the Mississippi State football team's 35-10 victory against BYU on Saturday at Davis Wade Stadium.
STARKVILLE -- A safety gave the Mississippi State football team its first shot to return a kickoff in 2017.
Late in the first quarter against Charleston Southern, Donald Gray took a kickoff for 52 yards to set up a six-play touchdown drive.
MSU hasn't had a return like that one since Gray's effort.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State has three running backs with at least 20 carries through five games.
Dontavian Lee isn't on that list, but the 6-foot-1, 235-pound junior is still listed as the second-string back.
Lee has played in every game, so he hasn't been forgotten, but the growth of Nick Gibson and Kylin Hill has added to the
Bulldogs' depth in the backfield.
STARKVILLE -- Chris Jones' quick scouting report on Cameron Gardner was simple: The tools are there, but the statistics aren't.
The Starkville High School football coach was certain that would change.
STARKVILLE -- Interceptions are a sore subject for the Mississippi State football team.
Ask cornerback Jamal Peters and position coach Terrell Buckley about interceptions and they immediately say the same thing -- "We don't have any" -- while losing all expression in their faces.
STARKVILLE -- Montez Sweat's ideology is pretty simple: "See ball, get ball." If he's being honest and the opposing offense does what he hopes, it's probably more like see quarterback, get quarterback.
STARKVILLE -- The newest Mississippi State football t-shirt craze is originating from inside its locker room.
STARKVILLE -- Going up the stairs from the home dugout at Dudy Noble Field isn't going to get one very far.
A staircase that used to take one directly onto the turf field in foul territory now is just a few feet away from a temporary fence that shields construction crews from the newly planted grass.
STARKVILLE -- The emergency situation called for Greg Eiland.
When Mississippi State left tackle Martinas Rankin went down with an injury in the game against Auburn, Eiland, a freshman, was thrown into the mix and played nearly the entire game. With Rankin still questionable after the bye week, MSU (3-2, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) might go with another combination when it plays host to BYU (1-5) at 11 a.m. Saturday at Davis Wade Stadium.
STARKVILLE -- David Bryant ducks under an overhang, passes a slab of concrete still drying to his right and walks into a tunnel, immediately taking a left. His shoes crunch on the gravel beneath his feet until he hits the wood planks making up the floor of the tunnel.
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