STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State football team is looking for consecutive victories against Auburn for the first time since it won four straight in the series from 1997-2000. Last season, MSU won 38-23 in Starkville, so the stage is set for MSU (2-1, 0-1 Southeastern Conference) to accomplish that goal when it takes on Auburn (2-1, 0-1) at 6:30 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2) in Auburn, Alabama.
OXFORD -- Robert Nkemdiche's eyes light up when talking about the transformation that's made him one of college football's most dominant players. But the gigantic defensive tackle -- who at 6-foot-4 and nearly 300 pounds anchors No. 3 Ole Miss' defense -- doesn't mention anything about work in the weight room, speed training or a greater understanding of football. Instead he talks about Zen and centering himself.
STARKVILLE -- Make no mistake, Kennadi Carbin didn't play basketball in high school. But don't let the Mississippi State 5-foot-11 freshman fool you because she knows a little something about posting people up. In soccer, though, the technique of positioning your body in front of a defender and keeping possession usually is called holding the ball. The skill is designed to give an individual on the attacking team time to scan the field and spot an open teammate. Judging from Carbin's performance late in MSU's match against Arkansas on Sunday, she has been listening to coach Aaron Gordon's words of encouragement.
STARKVILLE -- Jamal Peters and Mark McLaurin were certain they were going to be redshirted this season. The Mississippi State freshman safeties entered the week of the season opener against Southern Mississippi pessimistic about their chances to earn playing time. But it was all in their heads, as Peters played against the Golden Eagles and McLaurin played in the team's second game against LSU.
STARKVILLE -- Craig Sword believes he and Fred Thomas are the most important pieces entering this season. The senior guards have been through all the highs and lows with the Mississippi State men's basketball program in the past three seasons. Sword has led the Bulldogs in scoring the last three years, while Thomas has been one of the team's top defensive players. MSU first-year head coach Ben Howland brought in a talented freshman class with Malik Newman and Quinndary Weatherspoon at the guard positions, but Sword and Thomas will play vital roles this season.
OXFORD -- The Ole Miss football team's defense was far from perfect Saturday in a 43-37 victory against then-No. 2 Alabama. The Rebels had blown assignments and suffered from fatigue in the second half, which helped the Crimson Tide make several big plays in their comeback attempt. But Ole Miss' ability to create turnovers saved it.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Many of the questions that surrounded Southeastern Conference quarterbacks before the season remain unanswered. In fact, there could be more right now. Some teams already are resorting to backup plans.
STARKVILLE - Elijah Staley was overcome by nerves before he stepped on Scott Field at Davis Wade Stadium Saturday.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The Alabama football team caught fire after last season's loss to Ole Miss winning out until the College Football Playoffs. Now No. 12 Alabama's challenge now is to do it again. There's a big difference in coach Nick Saban's mind from a 23-17 defeat last season and a 43-37 setback on Saturday night in Tuscaloosa. This time, Alabama fell to now No. 3 Ole Miss after a mistake-filled performance that included a wild touchdown by the Rebels off a deflected pass.
STARKVILLE -- In the last few years, the winner of the Mississippi State-Auburn football game has gone on to have a good season. Last season, MSU won 38-23 in Starkville and rose to No. 1 in The Associated Press, where it stayed for five weeks, en route to a second-place finish in the Southeastern Conference's Western Division.
An average day for Jones County Junior College freshman Michael Godley starts around 6 a.m. and ends around 9:30 p.m. "Every day is a long day," Godley said. "It's a sacrifice, but it is also a love. I really love what I am doing. It's hard to get started some days and the nights run long, but I wouldn't trade a thing. It has been a wonderful experience so far."
Focus. After recording one of the biggest victories in school history, the No. 3 Ole Miss football team is ready to move ahead. However, the Rebels know focus will be the most important aspect of practice this week. Ole Miss surged in the national rankings after defeating then-No. 2 Alabama 43-37 in Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday night in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It was Ole Miss' first win at Alabama since 1988. Coupled with last season's 23-17 victory in Oxford, Ole Miss is enjoying victories against Alabama in back-to-back seasons for the first time in program history.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State senior quarterback Dak Prescott is feeling pretty good about his team's upcoming Southeastern Conference road trips. Playing a key role in a 49-point home victory will raise anyone's spirits, let alone a Heisman Trophy contender who wants to help the Bulldogs erase the memory of losing their SEC opener. One week after a last-second, 52-yard field goal missed in MSU's 21-19 loss to LSU, Prescott became the school's all-time leading passer on a day he went 10 of 11 for 227 yards with two touchdowns in a 62-13 victory against Northwestern State at Davis Wade Stadium.
The Ole Miss football team is on the rise again after defeating Alabama in a game full of turnovers and lucky bounces. The Rebels ran off to a big lead and then held on for a 43-37 win in Tuscaloosa on Saturday night that made a huge impression in the national rankings.
STARKVILLE - It will be hard to argue against Dak Prescott being the best Mississippi State quarterback in school history when his career comes to an end after this season.
STARKVILLE - Mississippi State fans have been anxiously awaiting to see what redshirt freshmen quarterbacks Nick Fitzgerald and Elijah Staley have to offer.
STARKVILLE - Gabe Myles was the butt of many jokes by his teammates last season.
STARKVILLE -- Depth equals competition. Sherise Williams knows Vic Schaefer and his coaching staff have been working hard to make that mantra a reality for the Mississippi State women's basketball team. Reality has arrived in a big way in Starkville as the Bulldogs continue preparations for the 2015-16 season, which is why Williams can contain her enthusiasm about her chances to see playing time at a new position.
BOONEVILLE -- Alexander Lipscomb had to be patient when he arrived at East Mississippi Community College in the summer. Coming in as a freshman out of Columbus High School, Lipscomb knew playing time was going to be at premium. Even so, Lipscomb went hard every day in practice and surprised defensive coordinator Jordan Lesley with the amount of effort he gave in training camp. In the first three games of the season, Lipscomb played sparingly and saw at the most five minutes at the end of each game. That changed Thursday night, as Lipscomb replaced injured Jalen Boney midway through the second quarter. He played the rest of the game in No. 7 EMCC's 56-7 victory against Northeast Mississippi C.C.
STARKVILLE -- Brandon Holloway hopes the Mississippi State football team's running backs get on track Saturday. The junior leads the Bulldogs with 88 rushing yards through two games. He has only carried the ball 12 times, while junior Ashton Shumpert is tied for the team lead in carries at 18 with quarterback Dak Prescott. The running backs haven't had many opportunities, but they will have a chance to shine at 3 p.m. Saturday (SEC Network) when MSU (1-1) plays host to Northwestern State (0-2) at Davis Wade Stadium.
2. MSU's Richardson wants to be more consistent COLLEGE SPORTS
3. MSU hopes to make most of three-game home stand COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Bulldogs look to overcome rash of injuries COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Sword ready for Newman's help in leading the Bulldogs COLLEGE SPORTS