STARKVILLE -- Mike Leach, five Famous Maroon Band seniors and a wagon enter Davis Wade Stadium.
The Junction may be empty, but the clanging of cowbells will return to Davis Wade Stadium this weekend, albeit in a limited capacity.
With a defense that surprised doubters in MSU's upset of LSU, Leach's first team in Starkville could prove far more dangerous than initially believed.
STARKVILLE -- Mike Leach hasn't had to preach on complacency much since returning from Baton Rouge.
Scott "Scooter" Thomas sits behind the register and basks in the vocals of Texas-based bluegrass group The Gourds. The tune, "Lower 48," is part of Thomas' recent kick on Longhorn State bands, though he explains he tries to flip the music playing over the speakers in his store based on the clientele walking in and out.
BATON ROUGE -- Unranked Mississippi State, led by head coach Mike Leach, beat defending national champion and No. 6-ranked LSU at Tiger Stadium.
For all the offensive fireworks that were scattered across the stat sheet Saturday evening, it was the MSU defense that proved the most pleasant surprise for Bulldog staffers and maroon and white-clad onlookers.
In the first game of the Mike Leach era, the Bulldogs navigated their air raid offense to a decisive victory over the Tigers.
Quarterback Melvin Crawford Jr. connected for touchdown passes of 62, 33, 20 and 14 yards and also earned rushing scores of 8 and 23 yards on the night.
Fifteen years ago this past month, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Mississippi and Louisiana. Current and former Bulldogs from the area share their own memories of the storm.
STARKVILLE -- Hal Mumme is among the architects of the modern passing game. The Don Corleone of aerial assaults. The Godfather of the air raid offense.
STARKVILLE -- Somehow, someway, game week has arrived for Mississippi State.
STARKVILLE -- The depth chart might cast some doubt, but K.J. Costello is expected to be the starting quarterback when Mississippi State opens its season against defending national champion and No. 6-ranked LSU in Baton Rouge Saturday.
The Rebels delivered one more blow than the Volunteers did Friday night.
Stan Murray's fall Friday nights over the past 33 years are nearly identical. Murray, a former Mississippi State football player and veteran Southeastern Conference football official, gathers with his officiating crew, orders pizza from whatever college town his gray Ford F-150 pickup has carried him to that weekend and gathers the group around a table to prepare for the following day's game.
The Michigan State and Bowling Green transfers should provide stability for the Bulldogs while a contingent of freshmen will offer upside.
STARKVILLE -- It's almost assured Mississippi State running back and Columbus native Kylin Hill won't lead the Southeastern Conference in rushing this fall, but for what he'll lack in carries, he'll more than make up for through the air.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State freshman quarterback Will Rogers has only been on campus since December. Stanford graduate transfer K.J. Costello arrived in Starkville even later, on June 1.
STARKVILLE -- Garrett Shrader's time under center has seemingly reached an end.
STARKVILLE -- A third Mississippi State football player has opted out of the 2020 season over COVID-19 concerns.
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