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.
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 -- 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.
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.
It's more than 1,700 miles from Scooba to Yuma, Ariz. But the East Mississippi Community College football team would make that trip today if it could.
STARKVILLE - If Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen had his way, he'd have a two new kickers at 2:30 p.m. Saturday (WCBI) for his team's game against No. 6 University of Arkansas. But there isn't a waiver wire in college football, so MSU will bring the same special teams players to Little Rock, Ark., to face the Razorbacks (9-1, 5-1 Southeastern Conference)
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State sophomore safety Nickoe Whitley will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a ruptured Achilles' tendon in his left foot.
The dream matchup is almost a reality. When the final NJCAA top 20 of the regular season was released Monday morning, there were no major surprises. For a second straight week, the East Mississippi Community College football team was ranked second in the nation, while No. 1 Arizona Western College also made it back-to-back weeks in the top spot.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State women's basketball team made a statement Monday night. Not only did it beat a quality opponent in Xavier 71-65 at Humphrey Coliseum, but it also may have found a third offensive option in center Martha Alwal.
OXFORD -- It appears Houston Nutt has finally run out of magic. The embattled 54-year-old coach has one last chance at a truly signature victory when Mississippi (2-8, 0-6 SEC) hosts No. 1 LSU (10-0, 6-0) on Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. But considering Nutt's lame duck status and that the Rebels are coming off an embarrassing 27-7 loss to Louisiana Tech on homecoming, the odds are incredibly long.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State football team's offense didn't have much success Saturday night against the No. 4 University of Alabama. The Bulldogs didn't move the ball much and they certainly didn't light up the scoreboard for the first three quarters. When the final whistle blew, the Crimson Tide proved why they are on another level in the Southeastern Conference with a 24-7 victory at David Wade Stadium.
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