STARKVILLE -- Blair Schaefer understands the importance of leadership.
East Mississippi Community College sophomore defensive back Brian Cole likes where his defense is at the moment.
STARKVILLE -- Hot and cold.
STARKVILLE -- There are times when Dan Mullen scratches his head when he sees his team play. The Mississippi State football coach admits it has been frustrating to see so much inconsistent play through seven games. Mullen said his team's 40-38 loss to Kentucky last week is a perfect example of the up-and-down play. The Bulldogs had 281 yards rushing and scored all their points in the final three quarters. In the first quarter, MSU fumbled the ball twice, had 19 yards, and had four three-and-outs.
The Ole Miss football team could use a break. Reeling from back-to-back losses to Arkansas and LSU, Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze would enjoy a little extra time to help get his team back on track.
STARKVILLE -- Young. Established. Re-focused. Timid. Maturing. Changed. A game of word association can be limiting and revealing at the same time. When Mississippi State seniors Breanna Richardson and Ketara Chapel are asked for one word to describe each of their first three seasons, it's illuminating to see how their choices reflect the ups and downs of their individual careers.
CLARKSDALE -- East Mississippi Community College freshman lineman Maleke Bell admits it took him about a month to adjust to playing on this level and feeling comfortable around his teammates. The same could be said for the Lions' defense as a whole. With the learning curve now firmly behind the squad, the former Starkville High standout is helping lead a defense that appears to be peaking at the right time.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State football team has never lost to Kentucky with Dan Mullen as its coach. The Bulldogs' eighth-year coach is 7-0 against the Wildcats, MSU's permanent Southeastern Conference Eastern division foe. Mullen and MSU (2-4, 1-2 SEC) will look to remain perfect against Kentucky (3-3, 2-2) at 6:30 p.m. Saturday (SEC Network) at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky.
STARKVILLE -- Peter Sirmon just shook his head when asked about the forced fumble in overtime against BYU.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- When talking to SEC coaches, the list of reasons why the league hasn't had a bigger presence recently in the NCAA tournament is long: Weak scheduling. Backlash for football dominance. Poor recruiting. Coaching turnover. Now, coaches say they've addressed all those hurdles but have one more to conquer -- perception.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The increased star power of the Southeastern Conference men's basketball coaching fraternity hasn't made an immediate impact. Those high-profile coaches have discovered this isn't a conference conducive to quick turnarounds. One year ago, Mississippi State's Ben Howland, Tennessee's Rick Barnes and Alabama's Avery Johnson arrived in the SEC while Florida began the post-Billy Donovan era with Mike White arriving from Louisiana Tech. Howland and Barnes had combined for four Final Fours and 32 NCAA tournament berths, while Johnson had coached the Dallas Mavericks to the NBA Finals.
STARKVILLE -- As the Mississippi State football team departed for Provo, Utah, last Friday, the running backs knew there was an opportunity to be had. Starter Brandon Holloway didn't make the trip with an undisclosed injury. Senior Ashton Shumpert earned his second-consecutive start, but sophomore Aeris Williams received the majority of the carries finished with career highs of 82 yards and 21 carries in a 28-21 loss to BYU in double overtime at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Taking a vacation wasn't in Quinndary Weatherspoon's summer plans. Spending time away from the court also wasn't an option following a standout freshman season with the Mississippi State men's basketball team. So while friends relaxed and took time to get away from the daily rigors of college life, Weatherspoon attacked his "offseason" and took to the court. Training with his brother, Nick, in his hometown of Canton, Quinndary filled his days in May by making 400 shots from all over the court and hitting the weight room hard.
There is no time for a letdown for the East Mississippi Community College football team. After dropping the season opener, the Lions have faced an uphill battle to put themselves back in position to compete for a third National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national championship in four seasons.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama dropped 49 points on a nationally ranked team and Southeastern Conference challenger, then went out and did it again. Now the Crimson Tide wants to keep rolling through another huge game. Alabama (7-0, 4-0 SEC) will play host to No. 6 Texas A&M (6-0, 4-0) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday (WCBI) in its second-straight top-10 matchup. The coaches and team leaders harp on staying grounded even after a 49-10 thrashing of then-No. 9 Tennessee, which followed another road win over No. 17 Arkansas (49-30).
STARKVILLE -- After a late kickoff Friday night in Provo, Utah, the Mississippi State football team didn't arrive back in Starkville until early Saturday morning. A 9:15 p.m. kickoff that resulted in a 28-21 double overtime loss to BYU at LaVell Edwards Stadium led to MSU returning to the Leo Seal Jr. Football Complex at 6:30 a.m. MSU coach Dan Mullen and his staff used Saturday to break down the BYU film and start preparing for Kentucky. The players had the weekend off.
After seeing a near-fatal blow to its Southeastern Conference championship hopes, the Ole Miss football team doesn't have time to wallow in pity. Instead, another rival and big opportunity in the Southeastern Conference awaits at 8 p.m. Saturday (ESPN), when No. 23 Ole Miss (3-3, 1-2 SEC) will face No. 25 LSU (4-2, 2-1) at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in the Magnolia Bowl.
SCOOBA -- The Lions are back. The East Mississippi Community College football team slipped from the nation's subconscious a year ago. A season-ending brawl, a postseason ban, and a loss in this season's opener left the Lions a forgotten team.
STARKVILLE -- Chinwe Okorie looked like a machine. It was less than an hour into the Mississippi State women's basketball team's first practice of the 2016-17 and the 6-foot-5 senior center was moving well and keeping up with the Bulldogs' guards and forwards in a drill designed to have the players finish at the rim off fast breaks.
STARKVILLE -- "Slow down." Teaira McCowan isn't sure how many times she heard those words in her first season with the Mississippi State women's basketball time. If she had to guess, she probably would say she heard them more from MSU coach Vic Schaefer, associate head coach Johnnie Harris, who coaches the post players, and the rest of the coaching staff more than any other Bulldog. "Last year, I was really nervous about messing up and not doing well," McCowan said.
1. Starkville High's Gay decommits from Ole Miss HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. Columbus basketball teams showcase Purple Madness HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Heritage Academy will be back at home for playoffs HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. MSU searching for greater consistency COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Junior Schaefer brings leadership to MSU women's program COLLEGE SPORTS