SCOOBA -- In a litany of obscene offensive numbers, special teams play often gets lost in the shuffle in the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges. On Thursday night, the No. 14 East Mississippi Community College football team needed the play of its special teams to be special to win its home opener. The unit was just that and played a key role in a 54-10 victory against Northeast Mississippi C.C. before an overflow crowd at Sullivan-Windham Field.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen and the Bulldogs (1-1, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) will play their first road game of the season at 6 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2) when they take on No. 20 LSU (1-1, 0-0) at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The last time the Bulldogs played in Baton Rouge, quarterback Dak Prescott led the team to a 34-29 win. It was MSU's first win in Baton Rouge since 1991, and the first against the Tigers since 1999. Tiger Stadium and the Tigers haven't been kind to the Bulldogs. LSU won 21-19 last season at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville. The Tigers are a double-digit favorite.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The No. 1 Alabama football team's passing game no longer is primarily the Calvin Ridley show. ArDarius Stewart has muscled his way into a co-starring role for the top-ranked Crimson Tide with a dogged running style after the catch and a knack for the deep ball. Both delivered big plays and catches last season but it was Ridley who emerged as one of college football's bigger receiving stars even as a freshman. It's been a role held by eventual top-10 draft picks Julio Jones and Amari Cooper during Nick Saban's decade in Tuscaloosa, but none have had a fellow receiver quite like Stewart.
STARKVILLE -- Jordan Thomas wasn't going to let the linebacker get the best of him. South Carolina linebacker D.J. Smith had a bead on the ball and had a chance to get an interception and deny MSU a touchdown. When Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald under the football in the end zone, Thomas knew he had to make a play, so he used his big 6-foot-5, 295-pound frame to deny Smith an interception. Thomas then used his big hands to rip the ball from Smith's grasp and score his first touchdown in a 27-14 victory last Saturday night at Davis Wade Stadium.
STARKVILLE -- A.J. Jefferson spends a lot of his free time watching film. The Mississippi State defensive lineman studies the action to see his mistakes so he can correct them. He also watches film to analyze his good plays and to break down offensive linemen he will face in an attempt to find ways to beat them.
OXFORD -- Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze isn't expecting any miracles from his running game Saturday against No. 1 Alabama. Instead, a few "dirty yards" will do.
STARKVILLE -- For the first time since 2013, the 2017 Battle for the Golden Egg will be played on Thanksgiving night, the Southeastern Conference announced Tuesday. MSU will play host to Ole Miss on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017, at Davis Wade Stadium. It marks the first year of a multi-year agreement to play the Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving night. MSU didn't specify what years past 2017 the Egg Bowl will be on Thanksgiving.
Mario Lanier is still learning in his second year with the East Mississippi Community College football program. "There is so much to play on this level," Lanier said. "Even when you think you know it all, you learn so much more. In junior college ball, you are here and then gone in two years, so it's kind of strange. You never really quit learning and then your time is done."
Intimidation shouldn't be one of the emotions the No. 19 Ole Miss football team experiences this week while preparing for No. 1 Alabama. That's because the Rebels (1-1) have beaten the Crimson Tide (2-0) in each of the last two seasons. At 2:30 p.m. Saturday (WCBI) at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Ole Miss will try to become the first team to defeat a Nick Saban-coached Alabama squad in three consecutive seasons.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen has been pleased with how his team has outscored South Alabama and South Carolina 41-0 in the first half in the first two games of the season. But MSU has been outscored 35-6 in the third and fourth quarters in both games. The second-half letdown played an integral role in a 21-20 loss to the Jaguars.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- These Alabama players don't have a lot of experience in redemption games against teams that beat them the previous season. The top-ranked Crimson Tide didn't handle the last one against the only team to beat them the last two seasons, losing to Ole Miss last season in a turnover-filled shootout. Now, Alabama is trying to change its approach going into Saturday's visit to the 19th-ranked Rebels.
STARKVILLE -- Jamal Peters was playing safety three weeks ago.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The salsa is back, and the New York Giants finally finished when the Dallas Cowboys failed to stop the clock in the final seconds.
Nick Weatherspoon is no stranger to the Mississippi State basketball program.
OXFORD -- The No. 19 Ole Miss football team got exactly what it needed Saturday in a relatively boring, lopsided victory. Playing just five days after an emotional loss to Florida State, quarterback Chad Kelly threw for 219 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Rebels to a 38-13 victory against Wofford of the Football Championship Subdivision level.
STARKVILLE -- Since he was 6 years old, Nick Fitzgerald dreamed of starting and winning a Southeastern Conference game. From the quarterback position, he could imagine himself leading his team to victory and his teammates mobbing him as the final seconds ticked off. Fitzgerald saw that dream come true Saturday night. In his second career start, Fitzgerald turned in a record-setting performance in the Mississippi State football team's 27-14 victory against South Carolina at Davis Wade Stadium.
STARKVILLE -- Richie Brown needed time to himself to go through his emotions last Sunday. The Mississippi State senior linebacker had to process losing the season opener South Alabama. It was something he never imagined was going to happen. The offense had its struggles, so did the defense. The defensive performance didn't sit well with Brown, and it challenged him, his teammates, and his coaches to do a better of job. As he thinks back on the 21-20 loss, it isn't all that bad.
STARKVILLE -- Jeffery Simmons finally got to make his collegiate debut. The Mississippi State football defensive lineman came under fire when a video surfaced of him striking a woman. Simmons pled no contest to simple assault and was found guilty of malicious mischief. The former Noxubee County High School standout was allowed to enroll at MSU and was assessed a one-game suspension.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Jalen Hurts wasn't perfect in a rare start for a freshman Alabama quarterback, and neither was the Crimson Tide. They were more than good enough, though. Hurts passed for 287 yards and two touchdowns in the first start by a Tide freshman quarterback in 22 years to lead No. 1 Alabama to a 38-10 victory against Western Kentucky on Saturday.
STARKVILLE -- Mallory Eubanks and Tanya de Souza like what the Mississippi State women's soccer team has accomplished through six games. While some might be surprised by the team's 4-2 start to the season, Eubanks, a junior forward, and de Souza, a junior goalkeeper, believe the results are a sign of bigger and better things to come for the Bulldogs. Eubanks and de Souza hope the next positive step comes at 7 tonight when MSU plays host to No. 25 Arkansas in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams at the MSU Soccer Field.
1. EMCC, Mississippi Delta leave past behind them COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Mullen balances calling plays, running team COLLEGE SPORTS
3. No. 9 EMCC routs Mississippi Delta COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Shorter hopes Noxubee County can follow 2015 path HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Columbus awaits region showdown vs. No. 3 Tupelo HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS