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."
NEW YORK -- Arnett Moultrie had 19 points, 10 rebounds, three kinds of cookies, and an MVP trophy. The 6-foot-11 junior forward celebrated his 21st birthday with the big outing to help the Mississippi State men's basketball team beat No. 15 Arizona 67-57 on Friday night to win the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer at Madison Square Garden.
STARKVILLE -- After a recent blowout win against New Hope High School, West Point High football coach Chris Chambless warned his team's season would end in heartache if it played as sloppily as it did against the Trojans. The Green Wave's season did just that, coming to a screeching halt Friday night in a 20-14 loss at Starkville High.
The New Hope High School boys basketball team held off a late rally and the Lady Trojans earned a dominant victory to complete a sweep Friday night of West Lowndes High. The Trojans (3-0) used a huge second quarter, which included a 27-6 run starting at the end of the first quarter, to take a big halftime lead en route to an 80-68 victory. Behind a full-court trapping defense, New Hope caused a flurry of turnovers to build a comfortable lead.
STARKVILLE -- A lot of coaches won't show the film of a loss to their team in preparation for a rematch with that team. Starkville High School football coach Jamie Mitchell doesn't operate under that philosophy.
The West Point High School football team may have played its most complete game of the regular season Sept. 9 when it defeated Starkville 33-12. The Green Wave will attempt to duplicate that feat at 7 tonight when the teams meet again in the second round of the Class 5A North State playoffs at Starkville's Yellow Jacket Field.
Things are quickly turning serious for the Pickens County High School football team. It has won two postseason playoff games. Now, the community is stoked, as is the team, as Pickens County prepares to play host to defending Class 1A state champion Sweet Water at 7 tonight in an Alabama High School Activities Association Class 1A third-round playoff game at Sweet Water.
NEW YORK -- The Mississippi State basketball team's great start wasn't fooling Rick Stansbury. The Bulldogs hit 10 of their first 13 shots from the field in taking a 22-point lead and they hung on for a 69-60 victory against No. 19 Texas A&M on Thursday night in the semifinals of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer.
STARKVILLE -- The spark never materialized. As a result, the Mississippi State senior with the most game experience was left to give her team a near-failing grade. Diamber Johnson had a team-high 14 points and six assists, but she was one of few bright spots in MSU's 66-48 victory against Alcorn State on Thursday night before a crowd of 580 at Humphrey Coliseum.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- When JaMychal Green went to the bench with two quick fouls, Tony Mitchell stepped up for the No. 16 University of Alabama men's basketball team. Mitchell scored 15 of his 17 points in the first half and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Alabama to a 62-42 win against Maryland on Thursday night in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
STARKVILLE -- In the short term, the Mississippi State football team would like to upset the No. 6 University of Arkansas at 2:30 p.m. Saturday (WCBI) and become bowl eligible. The long-term plan involves using Arkansas' strategy to attain the Razorbacks' level next season.
Mississippi State men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury faces a debate about which style his team will implement at 6 p.m. today (ESPN2) when it faces No. 19 Texas A&M in the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York. The question involves junior Renardo Sidney, a player the Bulldogs' 14th-year coach admits has been his most difficult to coach.
STARKVILLE -- Martha Alwal grew accustomed to being the "big girl." As a standout at Worthington High School in Minnesota, the 6-foot-4 center often was the tallest player on the basketball court. Typically, Alwal towered over opponents, and rarely did she face another post player who was tall enough to look her in the eyes. Now a freshman on the Mississippi State women's basketball team, Alwal remains one of the tallest players on her team. No longer, though, does Alwal go stretches without seeing playing against someone her height -- or taller -- or an opponent who wants to play physically in the paint.
STARKVILLE -- It is a one-word play call. It also is a word Mississippi State offensive coordinator Les Koenning won't reveal.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State linebacker Brandon Wilson was nominated Tuesday for the Burlsworth Trophy, which is presented annually to nation's most outstanding walk-on. Wilson is tied for second on the team with 81 tackles and one and a half tackles for loss and a fumbled recovery.
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