Sports start with a smile. Do you remember?
STARKVILLE -- Porsha Porter has earned a reputation for being a spark plug for the Mississippi State women's basketball team. Whether it's with her thievery on defense or with her lightning-quick first step or her 3-point shooting prowess, Porter has carved a niche in her second season with the Lady Bulldogs. MSU needed all of the dimensions of Porter's game Wednesday to enter the holiday on a positive note.
SCOOBA -- East Mississippi Community College defensive backs coach Clifton Collins knew his unit was going to be talented but young this season. That's why he counted on sophomore Jeremy Cannon, of West Point High School, to step up and make a difference.
OXFORD -- This wasn't the way Houston Nutt envisioned ending his Southeastern Conference career. The 14-year league veteran, who led the University of Arkansas for 10 seasons before coming to Mississippi for the past four, has always relished coaching in what he often calls the "toughest conference in America." But the brutal SEC has a habit of chewing up coaches, and Nutt is its latest victim.
STARKVILLE -- Not many kind words have said in the past couple of days about the Mississippi State pass defense. In the eyes of MSU's coaching staff, they're all accurate. "We weren't very good at all on pass defense," MSU coach Dan Mullen said. "That's a coaching issue. We'll get that fixed. We have to make sure we have guys in position to make plays."
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State men's basketball program celebrated being ranked with a victory. For the first time since January 2010, MSU was rewarded Monday afternoon with a No. 24 ranking in the latest Associated Press poll. MSU responded by outlasting the University of Louisiana at Monroe 78-63 at Humphrey Coliseum.
STARKVILLE -- On a night when the Starkville Academy girls basketball team was searching for its offense, its defense came through in the nick of time. Starkville Academy, the state's top-ranked Class AAA academy team by The Clarion-Ledger, survived a scare Monday night, defeating Oak Hill Academy 45-36 in overtime. In the nightcap, the Starkville Academy boys completed the sweep with a 66-48 victory.
STARKVILLE -- While any high school football game can present its twists and turns, Starkville High School coach Jamie Mitchell can always take solace in the fact his offensive line is going to come ready to play. As the Yellow Jackets have molded themselves into a state title contender, the offensive line may be the most underrated part of the squad. Line play again proved a key Friday night in a 20-14 Class 5A North State second-round playoff win against longtime rival West Point.
Sharon Fanning-Otis routinely lists battles she wants her Mississippi State women's basketball team to win every game. Rebounding, defense, turnovers, and deflections are staples on Fanning-Otis' rundown. Toughness is the drive force behind winning each of those statistical tallies.
ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands -- Murphy Holloway scored 20 points to lead the University of Mississippi men's basketball team to an 80-69 victory against TCU on Monday night in the third-place game of the Paradise Jam.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Add the Mississippi State football team to the list of squads that couldn't slow down the University of Arkansas' offense this season. Quarterback Tyler Wilson had 267 passing yards before halftime, and No. 6 Arkansas had 20 plays of 10 yards or more in a dominating 44-17 victory Saturday at War Memorial Stadium.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Dan Mullen didn't need a statistic sheet to tell him how he felt Saturday after his Mississippi State football team lost to the No. 6 University of Arkansas 44-17 at War Memorial Stadium. MSU's third-year coach knew what he wanted to say.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The final game of the 2011 regular season will mean everything to the Mississippi State football team. For the first time since 1990, MSU (5-6, 1-6 Southeastern Conference) will have to defeat the University of Mississippi to become bowl eligible
OXFORD -- Every time it appears the University of Mississippi football team's miserable season can't get any worse, the Rebels find a way to make it happen. The latest embarrassment was Saturday, when No. 1 LSU crushed Ole Miss 52-3 on senior night at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Nick Saban reminded the University of Alabama football players before the game what they had to lose, especially the seniors. They could leave as the program's winningest class -- or be remembered for falling to Georgia Southern in their home finale. And everybody knows what the third-ranked Crimson Tide are really chasing: A national title shot that became significantly more realistic with No. 2 Oklahoma State's loss the night before.
When you have been coaching as long as Gary Blair, it's easy to forget some of the players who have helped you and all of the places you have won games. But Blair never will forget April 5, 2011.
It was the first quarter of the third game in the New Hope High School football season. E.J. Jenkins was running down the field with the football, trying to avoid Columbus High School defenders. The junior wide receiver then took an "awkward hit to the back of the head," and fell to the ground.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen isn't excited about facing a University of Arkansas passing offense that is the Southeastern Conference's best and one of the best in the nation. At 2:30 p.m. today (WCBI), MSU (5-5, 1-5 SEC) will try to slow down No. 6 Arkansas (9-1, 5-1), veteran quarterback Tyler Wilson, and his numerous targets, including senior Jarius Wright, who leads the SEC with 906 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns, Joe Adams and Chris Gragg.
STARKVILLE - A new Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A state champion will be crowned this season. Starkville High made sure of that Friday night. Behind a gutsy fourth-quarter scoring drive, Starkville knocked off two-time defending state champion West Point 20-14 in a hard-fought, bitterly contested second-round playoff game before a crowd of 5,000 at Starkville's Yellow Jacket Field.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State quarterback Tyler Russell swears he doesn't look for specific receivers when he drops back to pass. That theory is hard to believe when there's a receiver on his team he has been throwing to since the ninth grade. "There might be something there," Russell said Tuesday "I'm just not thinking about it. Maybe other people can see it, but he always seems to catch most of my passes."
1. West Point's Murphy commits to MSU HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Woodman leads Ole Miss; Alabama eliminates Kentucky COLLEGE SPORTS
4. MSU men's, women's tennis starts singles play at NCAAs COLLEGE SPORTS