TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Even Alabama's No. 7 ranking can't conceal some chinks in the Alabama football team's armor that once seemed impenetrable. Special teams muffs, turnovers, and even problems running the ball have been among them. Coach Nick Saban can work on those issues, but he can't change the fact that a 14-13 victory against Arkansas causes more concern than celebration among his fan base.
HAMILTON -- Sprinters have one goal in mind: Get to their destination as quickly as possible. Sometimes, though, the quickest -- or easiest -- route to paydirt isn't a straight line. You often see that in football, when running backs, blessed with the speed to burn or to juke, stretch plays east and west in an effort to get to the corner. If they get there, all they need to do is hit the accelerator and dance down the sidelines to the end zone.
STARKVILLE -- On the eve of his team starting fall practice, Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen stood before the assembled media Monday afternoon and was asked for an opening statement. Naturally, as Cohen crafts his seventh edition of the Diamond Dawgs, he started the fall practice period by talking about MSU's No. 1-ranked football team.
STARKVILLE -- After two injury-plagued seasons that depleted his roster, Mississippi State men's basketball coach Rick Ray was dealt a pair of heavy blows as he prepares for his third season in Starkville. On Monday, MSU announced guard Craig Sword, MSU's leading scorer a year ago, will miss four to six weeks due to a back injury that will require surgery, while Johnny Zuppardo, a 6-foot-9 forward who transferred from Jones County Junior College, will miss the 2014-15 season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
OXFORD -- Playing as a top-five team for the first time, the Ole Miss football team passed a major test Saturday night in a 35-20 rout of then-No. 14 Texas A&M at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas. Coach Hugh Freeze and his Rebels will try to build on the momentum of back-to-back victories at 6 p.m. Saturday (ESPN) when they play host to Tennessee at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
STARKVILLE -- Through sly grins and rehearsed answers Saturday night, Mississippi State's football players downplayed talk of No. 3 MSU being named the No. 1 team in the country after a 38-23 victory against No. 2 Auburn at Davis Wade Stadium. By Sunday afternoon, those grins likely had turned into huge smiles.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- After all the frustrations of late, Nick Saban at least had his comic timing down pat. The Alabama coach, following a 14-13 victory against Arkansas and a second-straight game filled with turnovers and key penalties, had his deadpan response ready when asked about the reasons for the mistakes.
From the time Scott Bloomquist first took to the track at Magnolia Motor Speedway for the annual running of the Magnolia State Cotton Pickin' 100 many of his competitors noted he would be the driver to beat for the $20,000 top prize. Bloomquist proved them right Saturday night by leading all 100 laps in dominating fashion to claim the coveted win.
The Ole Miss football team's defense is forcing turnovers and scoring points. Safety Cody Prewitt said the unit is relentless and stingy. It's hard to argue with him after the defense helped No. 3 Ole Miss beat No. 14 Texas A&M 35-20 to improve to 6-0 for the first time since 1962.
GORDO, Ala. -- The Aliceville High School football team's high-flying offense finally met its match Friday night. After winning its first seven games, Aliceville couldn't generate anything on offense, falling 24-3 to Gordo in a showdown for the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 3A, Region 4 lead.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Even after a week, Blake Sims wasn't quite ready to let go of the frustration from the shocking loss at Mississippi. The rest of the Alabama quarterback's teammates played as if they were still hung up on the loss as well for much of a 14-13 victory at Arkansas on Saturday night.
The game was there for the taking. Despite allowing a back-breaking touchdown in the final minute of the second quarter that dropped it in a 21-point hole at halftime, the Heritage Academy football team found a spark in the third quarter.
STARKVILLE -- Starkville High School football coach Jamie Mitchell has talked all year about the depth of the state's top-ranked team. That depth was on display Friday night as several youngsters got lots of playing time. Starkville won its third-straight Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A, Region 2 game by shutout in a 38-0 victory against Greenville at Yellow Jacket Stadium.
STARKVILLE -- After the victory lap, after the hug and kiss from his wife, after staring up at the scoreboard to let the final score sink in, Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen had two people he needed to see in the aftermath of his team's 38-23 victory against No. 2 Auburn on Saturday night.
STARKVILLE -- The doors to the Mississippi State football team's locker room opened, and coach Dan Mullen led his team onto the field confidently, as the Bulldogs ran straight for their Saturday afternoon showdown with No. 2 Auburn.
WEST POINT -- The West Point High School football team's most valuable player Friday night in a 56-21 victory against Center Hill didn't play a down.
CRAWFORD -- At first glance, a game between winless Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 1A, Region 3 teams might not mean much.
LOUISVILLE -- The West Lowndes High School football team put together its best offensive half of the season Friday night. Unfortunately, it still wasn't enough to get the Panthers into the win column.
Auburn-Mississippi State By the Numbers
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Bo Wallace ran for two scores and threw a touchdown pass and Ole Miss' defense added two scores to help the third-ranked Rebels remain undefeated with a 35-20 victory against No. 14 Texas A&M on Saturday night.
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