STARKVILLE -- A safety gave the Mississippi State football team its first shot to return a kickoff in 2017. Late in the first quarter against Charleston Southern, Donald Gray took a kickoff for 52 yards to set up a six-play touchdown drive. MSU hasn't had a return like that one since Gray's effort.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State has three running backs with at least 20 carries through five games. Dontavian Lee isn't on that list, but the 6-foot-1, 235-pound junior is still listed as the second-string back. Lee has played in every game, so he hasn't been forgotten, but the growth of Nick Gibson and Kylin Hill has added to the Bulldogs' depth in the backfield.
STARKVILLE -- Interceptions are a sore subject for the Mississippi State football team. Ask cornerback Jamal Peters and position coach Terrell Buckley about interceptions and they immediately say the same thing -- "We don't have any" -- while losing all expression in their faces.
The Ole Miss football team's two-game swing through the state of Alabama was largely a disaster. But an encouraging second half during last weekend's otherwise forgettable 44-23 loss to Auburn has given the Rebels a little hope going into a stretch of three consecutive home games that begins Saturday against Vanderbilt.
Georgia football coach Kirby Smart isn't happy his Bulldogs finally allowed not one, but two touchdowns against a Southeastern Conference opponent -- in their third league game. Smart calls that a wake-up call for his fourth-ranked Bulldogs.
STARKVILLE -- Montez Sweat's ideology is pretty simple: "See ball, get ball." If he's being honest and the opposing offense does what he hopes, it's probably more like see quarterback, get quarterback.
Prior to Buddy Stephens' arrival at East Mississippi Community College, all of the school's football awards would fit on a card table.
STARKVILLE -- Going up the stairs from the home dugout at Dudy Noble Field isn't going to get one very far. A staircase that used to take one directly onto the turf field in foul territory now is just a few feet away from a temporary fence that shields construction crews from the newly planted grass.
STARKVILLE -- The emergency situation called for Greg Eiland. When Mississippi State left tackle Martinas Rankin went down with an injury in the game against Auburn, Eiland, a freshman, was thrown into the mix and played nearly the entire game. With Rankin still questionable after the bye week, MSU (3-2, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) might go with another combination when it plays host to BYU (1-5) at 11 a.m. Saturday at Davis Wade Stadium.
STARKVILLE -- David Bryant ducks under an overhang, passes a slab of concrete still drying to his right and walks into a tunnel, immediately taking a left. His shoes crunch on the gravel beneath his feet until he hits the wood planks making up the floor of the tunnel.
SCOOBA -- East Mississippi Community College sophomore defensive back Duke Upshaw had one word for his feelings about his team's performance against Holmes C.C. last season. "Helpless."
SCOOBA -- Two of the nation's best were in their element Thursday night. Quarterback Lindsey Scott Jr. threw for a season-best 449 yards and five touchdowns in the No. 1 East Mississippi Community College football team's 49-3 victory against No. 15 Holmes C.C. 49-3 at Sullivan-Windham Field.
SCOOBA -- Maleke Bell has been doing a lot of waiting the last few months. Part of Bell's waiting ended Wednesday when the East Mississippi Community College defensive lineman became a father. On Thursday, the former Starkville High School standout made his much-awaited debut with EMCC in the No. 1 Lions' 49-3 victory against No. 15 Holmes C.C. at Sullivan-Windham Field.
STARKVILLE -- Willie Gay's rude awakening to college football came before he set foot on the Mississippi State practice field. The linebacker was certain of one thing when he received a copy of MSU's playbook prior to his first preseason.
AUBURN, Ala. -- Matt Luke and the Ole Miss football team are banking on the fluctuating fortunes of college football for a fast rebound. The No. 12 Auburn Tigers, on the other hand, are hoping their last two performances will carry over into Saturday's game against the Rebels.
Texas A&M has sweated out two close Southeastern Conference wins. Alabama has barely broken a sweat at all in batting aside its first two league opponents.
STARKVILLE -- Injuries and slumps influenced most of the Mississippi State men's basketball coach Ben Howland's decisions about his starting lineup in 2016-17. This season, Howland likely will make those decisions based on matchups.
Four months separate the Mississippi State women's golf team from the start of its spring season and the beginning of its push to make the NCAA tournament. With one more tournament remaining in the fall season, MSU coach Ginger Brown-Lemm has a better feel of what to expect from her team.
STARKVILLE -- The list of things Dan Mullen hasn't experienced in nine years as Mississippi State football coach is almost non- existent. Mullen hit one more this week.
With 24 days left in the regular season, East Mississippi Community College quarterback Lindsey Scott Jr. is looking forward to seeing his team as a finished product.
1. Howland excited to have Nebraska coming to Starkville COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Shorter smiling again as Tigers try to clinch district title HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Heritage Academy focused on bounce-back effort HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Oak Hill Academy will go on road to try to win district title HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS