Freshman linebacker A.J. Smith breaks out the normal football cliches when he says the Northwest Mississippi Community College football team is taking it one game at a time as it climbs the national rankings. Then there is a footnote.
The Ole Miss football team enjoyed its first road trip in Southeastern Conference football play this season. Now the Rebels are looking to repeat that pleasure. After upsetting then-No. 2 Alabama two weeks ago in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, No. 3 Ole Miss (4-0, 2-0 SEC) will be back on the road this weekend to take on No. 25 Florida (4-0, 2-0). Kickoff is set for a 6 p.m. Saturday (ESPN) in Gainesville, Florida.
SCOOBA -- East Mississippi Community College sophomore defensive back C.J. Reavis admits it took a while for him to return to his comfort zone. Now flourishing as a standout in the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior College ranks, the Virginia Tech transfer is working overtime to build up the resume for a return to senior college competition. As he grows and develops, the Lions' defense is coming along for the ride. A critical goal-line stand swung the momentum for good Saturday in No. 6 EMCC's 48-24 victory against Itawamba C.C. in a MACJC North Division game played before a capacity Homecoming crowd at Sullivan-Windham Field.
STARKVILLE -- Freshman Kennadi Carbin's goal in the 38th minute helped the Mississippi State women's soccer team earn a 1-1 overtime tie against Missouri in a Southeastern Conference game Sunday at the MSU Soccer Field. The draw enabled MSU (3-5-3, 1-1-2) to close the weekend the week with two points. Following a 0-0 overtime tie against Tennessee On Friday, MSU's 1-1-2 start in the SEC is the program's best since 2001.
OXFORD -- In the first three games of the season, junior quarterback Chad Kelly looked like a man who played football with a cape and a big 'S' on his chest. Entering the No. 3 Ole Miss football team's game against Vanderbilt on Saturday, Kelly was leading the nation in yards per completion (19.11) and yards per pass attempt (12.3), and was second in the nation in passing efficiency (205.7). He had thrown for 898 yards, nine touchdowns (one interception) and was completing 65 percent of his passes. With numbers like that, it's easy to see why Ole Miss supporters were looking for places to put telephone booths so Kelly would have spots to change into his Superman gear.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen said his team is back in the Southeastern Conference Western Division race after beating Auburn 17-9 Saturday night. MSU lost to LSU 21-19 in week two in its SEC opener at Davis Wade Stadium. MSU had a chance to win, but Devon Bell missed a 52-yard field goal in the final seconds. In a game MSU needed to keep its SEC Championship hopes alive, the Bulldogs received a solid effort from their defense and a strong effort from senior quarterback Dak Prescott (29 of 41 for 270 yards). The victory helped MSU (3-1, 1-1 SEC) climb back into the national rankings (No. 21 in The Associated Press poll; No. 22 Amway Coaches poll).
AUBURN, Ala. -- Dak Prescott is used to carrying the offensive load for Mississippi State, but it was taken to another level Saturday night.
AUBURN, Ala. -- Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen was pleased with the play of his special teams Saturday night.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama 's defense rebounded with a vintage performance while Jake Coker and the offense overcame a sputtering start.
OXFORD (AP) -- Mississippi's offense didn't look anything like the group that had thrown up touchdowns with stunning ease through the first three weeks of the season.
SCOOBA -- In a split second everything changed.
In elementary school, when Keyon Higgins was losing a backyard wrestling match to older brother Stanley, he would remember his mother's advice.
Nick Clark can't help use the word "great" when describing the baseball exploits of Syd. L. Thweatt Jr. But as talented a hitter and infielder as Thweatt Jr. was at Stephen D. Lee High School in Columbus and East Mississippi Junior College in Scooba, Clark said there is another quality about his longtime friend that has left a bigger impression on him.
STARKVILLE -- Kelly White knew she could make a difference for the Mississippi State athletic department. While working at Oktibbeha County Hospital Regional Center, White already had a working relationship with MSU Director of Sports Medicine Mary McLendon, and many Bulldog athletes came to see White at the hospital. As a result, White talked to different MSU teams on campus about eating right, but she wanted more involvement, so she met with different people in the athletic department and laid out a plan as to why it needed a dietitian for all sports on campus.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State football team is looking for consecutive victories against Auburn for the first time since it won four straight in the series from 1997-2000. Last season, MSU won 38-23 in Starkville, so the stage is set for MSU (2-1, 0-1 Southeastern Conference) to accomplish that goal when it takes on Auburn (2-1, 0-1) at 6:30 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2) in Auburn, Alabama.
OXFORD -- Robert Nkemdiche's eyes light up when talking about the transformation that's made him one of college football's most dominant players. But the gigantic defensive tackle -- who at 6-foot-4 and nearly 300 pounds anchors No. 3 Ole Miss' defense -- doesn't mention anything about work in the weight room, speed training or a greater understanding of football. Instead he talks about Zen and centering himself.
STARKVILLE -- Make no mistake, Kennadi Carbin didn't play basketball in high school. But don't let the Mississippi State 5-foot-11 freshman fool you because she knows a little something about posting people up. In soccer, though, the technique of positioning your body in front of a defender and keeping possession usually is called holding the ball. The skill is designed to give an individual on the attacking team time to scan the field and spot an open teammate. Judging from Carbin's performance late in MSU's match against Arkansas on Sunday, she has been listening to coach Aaron Gordon's words of encouragement.
STARKVILLE -- Jamal Peters and Mark McLaurin were certain they were going to be redshirted this season. The Mississippi State freshman safeties entered the week of the season opener against Southern Mississippi pessimistic about their chances to earn playing time. But it was all in their heads, as Peters played against the Golden Eagles and McLaurin played in the team's second game against LSU.
STARKVILLE -- Craig Sword believes he and Fred Thomas are the most important pieces entering this season. The senior guards have been through all the highs and lows with the Mississippi State men's basketball program in the past three seasons. Sword has led the Bulldogs in scoring the last three years, while Thomas has been one of the team's top defensive players. MSU first-year head coach Ben Howland brought in a talented freshman class with Malik Newman and Quinndary Weatherspoon at the guard positions, but Sword and Thomas will play vital roles this season.
OXFORD -- The Ole Miss football team's defense was far from perfect Saturday in a 43-37 victory against then-No. 2 Alabama. The Rebels had blown assignments and suffered from fatigue in the second half, which helped the Crimson Tide make several big plays in their comeback attempt. But Ole Miss' ability to create turnovers saved it.
1. Friday's Mississippi Prep Football Scores HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. Columbus routs Tupelo HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. MSU Notebook: Prescott loses one streak, extends another COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Columbus moves to 2-0 in region play with win at Tupelo HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Bulldogs eager to see if Newman lives up to the hype HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS