STARKVILLE -- After four-straight games without a break, the Mississippi State football team is getting a chance to catch its breath this week. The Bulldogs (2-2, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) are in the middle of their only bye week of the season. MSU will play host to Auburn (2-2, 1-1) at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 8 (SEC Network) at Davis Wade Stadium.
When the ball is in the air, East Mississippi Community College sophomore wide receiver Damion Willis feels a flutter in his heart. "There is still nothing more exciting than running the perfect route and seeing the ball headed your way," Willis said. "It never gets old. When you are a receiver, you are not directly involved on every play. That puts the pressure on. When the ball is headed your way, you have to make a play."
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Born and raised in Mississippi, and with stops at Auburn and Kentucky on his resume, Scott Stricklin has spent more than two decades in the Southeastern Conference. He knows the league inside and out, and has witnessed pretty much everything during his career, so he understands the daunting task of following Jeremy Foley. He also welcomes the opportunity.
Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze had been patiently waiting for a complete game. It finally came Saturday when then-No. 23 Ole Miss defeated then-No. 12 Georgia 45-14 in a Southeastern Conference game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. With the mental hurdle of playing for four quarters cleared, No. 16 Ole Miss (2-2) will face another huge challenge at 6 p.m. Saturday when it plays host to Memphis (3-0) in its Homecoming game. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 or SEC Network Alternate.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The Alabama football team's running game has continued to roll along with considerable help from a running quarterback and a couple of freshman backs. If starting tailback Damien Harris can't return from a sprained right ankle, freshmen Joshua Jacobs and B.J. Emmons could play even bigger roles Saturday for top-ranked Alabama against Kentucky.
Mike Nemeth was so impressed with Scott Stricklin, he hired him three times.
OXFORD - It is not how you start but how you finish that matters.
OXFORD -- Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly faked the handoff and then took off running toward the end zone. A few seconds and 41 yards later, the quarterback had cruised through the middle of the Georgia defense and into the end zone untouched. It was pretty much that easy for the Rebels all afternoon. Ole Miss finally built a lead it couldn't give away. No. 23 Ole Miss rolled to a 45-14 victory over No. 12 Georgia on Saturday, building a 31-0 lead by halftime and a 45-0 advantage by midway through the fourth quarter.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen walked through the locker room after the Bulldogs beat Massachusetts and noticed that his players didn't know whether to celebrate.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The No. 1 Alabama football team didn't miss a beat after tailback Damien Harris went down a couple of minutes into the game. The youngsters made sure of it. Quarterback Jalen Hurts completed the opening drive with a 20-yard touchdown run and fellow freshman Joshua Jacobs scored his first two career touchdowns in the top-ranked Crimson Tide's 48-0 win Saturday against Kent State.
STARKVILLE -- Giving up three touchdowns last week was too many for Willie Gay. The Starkville High School linebacker watched Meridian move up and down the field on his defense. It didn't sit well with him and, as always, he took it personally.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Dalvin Tomlinson is Alabama's other defensive end. He should not be hard to miss at 6-foot-3, 310-pounds. He was a three-time Georgia state champion wrestler and former high school soccer player -- and he is a pretty good football player, too. Tomlinson, however, is often overshadowed by All-Southeastern Conference teammate Jonathan Allen.
FULTON -- It was hard for Roger Thomas to see Kadarius Forside break his leg last week. The Itawamba Community College football running backs are more than teammates. The cousins played football together at West Point High School. They have a bond that goes deeper than your average junior college teammates who spend at the most two years together.
STARKVILLE -- Nick Fitzgerald watched Saturday as Damian Williams nearly led the Mississippi State football team to a fourth-quarter comeback against then-No. 20 LSU. The sophomore starting quarterback lost his helmet before a crucial fourth-down play midway through the fourth quarter. Williams came in and led the Bulldogs to a touchdown. After an onside kick, Williams led another touchdown drive to cut the deficit to a field goal, but MSU lost 23-20.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State football team will step outside of the Southeastern Conference for a game against Massachusetts (1-2) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday (WCBI) at Gillette Stadium, home of the NFL's New England Patriots, in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
FULTON -- East Mississippi Community College sophomore wide receiver Mario Lanier didn't look the least bit winded. He was in the minority. "I could play four more quarters," said Lanier, a former standout at Aliceville High School. "That was fun. Let's keep the lights on and keep going."
STARKVILLE -- As Dez Harris forced two fumbles against LSU on Saturday, the Mississippi State linebacker thought about his mother. Overcoming three knee injuries wasn't easy for the junior. If he gave up the game and decided to focus on other things, nobody would blame him. But that's not Harris. He's a fighter. Even so, the recovery process wasn't easy. He had a great support system behind him, including his mother, Delaina.
David McFatrich is all about creating new habits. In his first year as Mississippi State volleyball coach, McFatrich guided the Bulldogs to a 17-15 finish and their first winning record since 2006. MSU capped its 2015 season with a victory against Ole Miss that gave the program its first back-to-back victories against the Rebels since 2009. The win heightened optimism that 2016 could be MSU's year to take the next step, to entertain thoughts of moving into the upper echelon of the Southeastern Conference, and to compete for its first bid to the NCAA tournament.
OXFORD -- The Ole Miss football team has proven it can build big first-half leads against some of the best college football teams in the country. The 23rd-ranked Rebels have also shown they can lose those same leads in a hurry. Ole Miss blew a 22-point lead against Florida State on Sept. 5 and a 21-point lead against Alabama last weekend in two demoralizing losses that have put a serious dent in the program's lofty preseason aspirations. Now, coach Hugh Freeze is left trying to figure out what's going wrong.
Mississippi State Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin is the lead candidate for the vacancy at Florida according to a report by FootballScoop.com.
1. Ole Miss will be ready for Memphis COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Hill, Gholar fuel Falcons' flight HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Stricklin expected to take Florida AD job today COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Alabama's running game continues to roll COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Heritage Academy excited about big win HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS