Don't count Kris Pickle among those who have been surprised by the New Hope High School football team's 3-0 start. The former Aberdeen High assistant and Morton High head coach knew it would take time for his players to adjust to a new system. But he also realized there was plenty of potential on hand to help New Hope regroup from a run of three consecutive losing seasons.
Six keys for MSU's defense vs. LSU's offense
The gap separating the two SEC divisions shows no signs of narrowing. In fact, it might be wider than ever. The Southeastern Conference's Western Division has five members in the top 10: No. 3 Alabama, No. 5 Auburn, No. 6 Texas A&M, No. 8 LSU, and No. 10 Ole Miss. All of those schools are ahead of No. 13 Georgia, the top-ranked East team.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The No. 3 Alabama football team has experienced receivers, a deep and talented backfield, and a preseason All-Southeastern Conference tight end.
SCOOBA -- East Mississippi Community College sophomore linebacker Justin Lucas knows what a national championship defense looks like.
Randal Montgomery sees the progress.
STARKVILLE - The storyline is predictable.
When the U.S. Women's Open came to the lush greens of Old Waverly Golf Club in 1999, it left a good impression.
When the football season began, Hamilton High School coach Ray Weeks knew what he would be getting out of Keshon Heard.
Barrett Donahoe likes where his team stands nearly halfway through a marathon of a regular season. The Heritage Academy football coach would like to have another victory or two, but he feels the Patriots (2-2) have positioned themselves to accomplish all of their goals.
MACON -- There have been times when the Noxubee County High School football team's defense has been a force to start the season. A look back to the state title season in 2008 and to the 2009 campaign shows the Tigers recorded a shutout in the season opener each year en route to posting seven and 10 shutouts for the whole year.
STARKVILLE -- The biggest opportunity of the season has arrived for Mississippi State's football team. After three weeks of dominating non-conference opponents, MSU will open Southeastern Conference play at 6 p.m. Saturday at No. 8 LSU, a team that has won the past 14 meetings in the series dating back to 1999.
PHEBA -- Prior to the start of the 2014 football season, Hebron Christian School coach David Foster approached starting quarterback Channing Tapley and told him what signal callers everywhere love to hear.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama coach Nick Saban made sure his players knew they'll always be remembered for 2014. Good, bad, or great. No. 3 Alabama will be judged more for Florida than Florida Atlantic, Ole Miss than Southern Mississippi and the finish rather than the start.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State defensive end Preston Smith's reign of dominance among Southeastern Conference defensive linemen continues.
MOBILE, Ala. -- The Mississippi State football team hasn't been challenged three weeks into the season. The Bulldogs opened the campaign with easy victories against Southern Mississippi and Alabama-Birmingham, and the story was no different Saturday, when MSU finished its early season non-conference stretch with a 35-3 victory against Sun Belt Conference member South Alabama.
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Cornerback Tre'davious White sees evidence that the LSU football team's defense can maintain its recent suffocating form at 6 p.m. Saturday when it plays host to Mississippi State in its Southeastern Conference opener. No. 8 LSU hasn't allowed a point for nearly 10 quarters and has posted consecutive shutouts for the first time in nearly three decades.
For many athletes, it takes months or even years to break records. For Mississippi State's Payton Harris, it only took 11 matches. Saturday night at the final contest of the 2014 Maroon Classic, Harris led the Bulldogs to a five-set victory with 59 digs, breaking a Southeastern Conference record for digs in a match and completing a final-day sweep for MSU.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Matt Jones plunged across the goal line, and before he could even get to his knees, was mobbed by teammates.
1. New Hope beats Leake Central to win Region 4-4A title HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. New Hope's James signs with Itawamba C.C. HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. No. 2 MSU women play for outright SEC championship COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Bulldogs clinch SEC Championship COLLEGE SPORTS
5. MSU Notebook: Schaefer back to normal for No. 2 Bulldogs COLLEGE SPORTS