MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Mississippi State defensive coordinator Geoff Collins was determined to change the compartmentalized nature of the sport in his first year as full-time play caller.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- There is an ancient Irish proverb that says, "The darkest hour is just before the dawn."
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Mississippi State football coaches know not to judge Rice by its conference affiliation. While mid-major and even some Southeastern Conference teams have tried to avoid getting into a battle in the trenches with MSU, Conference USA champion Rice (10-3) will try to win a physical battle when the teams face off at 3 p.m. Tuesday (ESPN) in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
REFORM, Ala. -- It doesn't matter to Devonte Simon whether he has success on offense or defense. As a go-to player on both sides of the football, the Pickens County High School senior knows the team's record is the most important barometer of his leadership skills.
REFORM, Ala. -- Jermarcus Brown only needs a few seconds to rattle off the things needed to make a good running back. It's not surprising to hear the Pickens County High School senior mention vision, power, and ability to be coached as the first three items on his list because Brown showcased all of them in a record-breaking season.
REFORM, Ala. -- The word "family" often becomes a cliche in the sports world. Coaches and players talk repeatedly about chemistry and how their bonds off the field help performance on the field or on the court.
The Dispatch's West Alabama All-Area football team
The Mississippi State men's basketball team spent the better part of its Southeastern Conference season waiting for something good to happen.
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Some of the nation's best academic schools also are making an impact on big-time college football. Of the top 12 Football Bowl Subdivision programs with the lowest acceptance rates, nine of them have qualified for bowl games this year, while four have had double-digit win seasons.
STARKVILLE -- The numbers reflect the progress. In five key statistical categories -- scoring, scoring defense, shooting percentage, rebounding margin, and assist-to-turnover ratio -- the Mississippi State women's basketball team is significantly better than it was through 13 games last season.
East Mississippi Community College sophomore quarterback Dontreal Pruitt believes a football team's pursuit for perfection is never complete.
STEENS -- Old-school basketball aficionados would appreciate KC Cunningham.
STEENS -- Rokila Wallace thought she could fit through the sliver of space.
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STARKVILLE -- Kennedi Stephens wasn't sure how she would fit in when she transferred from Montgomery (Ala.) to New Hope High School.
STARKVILLE -- The Starkville High School girls basketball team's victory Saturday night was important mainly for the way it was achieved.
STARKVILLE -- The Starkville High School boys basketball team had a much more enjoyable experience this season in the Humphrey Coliseum. After going winless a season ago in the Travis Outlaw Slam Dunk at The Hump tournament, the Yellow Jackets reversed that trend and won all three games they played in this year's event.
STARKVILLE -- "Find a way." Laura Lee Holman's words served as a reminder this wasn't an ordinary day for the New Hope High School girls basketball team. Not only was leading scorer D.J. Sanders finding it difficult to make a shot, but the Lady Trojans also were battling foul trouble and the pesky tandem of Starkville High's Blair Schaefer and Imane Montgomery.
STARKVILLE -- One coach hopes to help his team find an ingredient that will propel it to greater heights in 2014. Another coach plans to use his team's three-game stint against Mississippi teams as a bonding exercise that will help his squad come together for the stretch run.
1. Westburg powers MSU past North Carolina COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Berkery adds former MLB pitcher Oswalt to staff at Starkville Academy HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. UNC uses analytics to power defensive shifts COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Golsan gets hit in first professional at-bat LOCAL SPORTS