STARKVILLE -- Many Mississippi State fans don't know Jon Clark, but they probably have seen him on television. The assistant athletic director of football operations doesn't have many gameday duties, but he is on the sidelines for every game and is charged with the responsibility of attempting to restrain coach Dan Mullen when he disagrees with a decision made by an official. He will resume the duty at 9 p.m. Saturday when MSU kicks off the season against Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the game live.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State first-year men's basketball head coach Ben Howland said Thursday freshman Joe Strugg will be out least two months. "We found out this morning that Joe Strugg has long-term issues with the bones in his shins," Howland said.
WESSON -- The streak is over. When Jaquarius Landrews intercepted a Wyatt Roberts pass and then fell to the turf, one of the biggest celebrations in the history of H.L. Stone Stadium took place. No. 4 Copiah-Lincoln Community College defeated No. 1 East Mississippi C.C. 31-24 in overtime before a capacity crowd Thursday night. The celebration included players, coaches, and fans flooding the field. The loss snapped EMCC's three-season winning streak at 25 games. The Lions fell one win shy of matching the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) record for consecutive wins. EMCC's last loss was a 47-46 setback to Co-Lin in the semifinals of the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) state playoffs in 2012.
STARKVILLE -- Dionnah Jackson understands what goes into being a "master teacher." Jackson earned that distinction when she was a player for coach Sherri Coale at Oklahoma. Coale bestowed that title on her players when they earned the responsibility to be instructors at the women's basketball team's camp. Now Jackson hopes her decision to join Vic Schaefer's coaching staff at Mississippi State will help her continue on the path so she ultimately will be recognized as a "master coach."
STARKVILLE -- Aaron Gordon has seen the improvement. Gordon and his coaching staff have reconfigured the Mississippi State women's soccer program to add depth, to improve conditioning, and to bolster the overall skill level in their first two full seasons so that the Bulldogs look completely different from when he arrived in Starkville from Texas Tech in 2012.
STARKVILLE -- Four former student-athletes and one former athletic trainer/current administrator will be inducted into the Mississippi State Sports Hall of Fame on Oct. 24 during pre-game festivities prior to MSU's football game against Kentucky, the MSU M-Club Alumni Association announced Thursday. The annual Mississippi State Sports Hall of Fame Gala will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22, in the Leo Seal M-Club. Tickets are available for purchase at msumclub.org starting at $100. There will be a post-gala party at a venue to be determined.
STARKVILLE - Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen is excited to start the season with in-state foe Southern Mississippi.
SCOOBA -- East Mississippi Community College football coach Buddy Stephens rarely resorts to bulletin board material.
STARKVILLE - Manny Diaz is ready to see his defensive players tackle other guys than their own teammates.
Editor's Note: The Dispatch continues its series titled "Pieces of a Dynasty," which examines the East Mississippi Community College football team's rise to national prominence. Today, The Dispatch analyzes how the elimination of the recruiting districts in the state of Mississippi has helped EMCC become the state of Mississippi's most dominant program, and win national titles three of the past four seasons. In the final weeks before National Signing Day, Noxubee County High School football coach Tyrone Shorter estimates he works an extra full day per week.
STARKVILLE -- It's easy to see why Justin Malone and Justin Senior are the leaders of the Mississippi State football team's offensive line. Malone and Senior are the only returning starters from a line that last year helped MSU climb to No. 1 and stay there for five weeks en route to a 10-3 finish (6-2 in the Southeastern Conference). Malone, a senior left guard, has 16 career starts in three seasons with the program, while Senior, a junior right tackle, has 14 starts in his two-year career.
OXFORD -- Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze hopes star receiver Laquon Treadwell scores a touchdown every time he touches the ball this season. Except once. "In a strange kind of way," Freeze said. "I'm looking forward to seeing him get tackled."
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The Alabama football team's first depth chart of the year doesn't clear up the starting quarterback mystery. The top spot looking at the depth chart is inhabited by Jake Coker/Cooper Bateman/Alec Morris. In other words, one of the above. Tight end O.J. Howard can't shed much light on the three-man competition either when friends and classmates ask because, "I'm just like them, I don't know."
SCOOBA -- When Dr. Rick Young took over as president at East Mississippi Community College in 2004, he had a long-range plan for athletics. It is a safe bet that the school's success far exceeded his best-laid plans. "I have never met anyone with a vision like Dr. Young," EMCC eighth-year football coach Buddy Stephens said. "Dr. Young always had every answer to every question. He had an answer to a problem before you saw it coming. He was not one or two steps ahead, he was on another block."
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State junior defensive end A.J. Jefferson will be looked to as a leader this season, but he will lead his way. Jefferson is one of six returning lettermen on the defensive line who will try to help the Bulldogs make up for the graduation losses of Preston Smith, Kaleb Eulls, P.J. Jones, and Curtis Virges. Fans will get to see his unique leadership style at 9 p.m. Saturday, when MSU plays Southern Mississippi in the season opener for both teams in Hattiesburg. Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the game live.
FULTON -- The No. 7 Copiah-Lincoln Community College scored 13 points in the fourth quarter Thursday night to rally for a 26-14 victory against Itawamba C.C. in the season opener for both teams.
SCOOBA -- It was a typical summer for Wyatt Roberts replete with another quarterback competition at East Mississippi Community College. Another big-name transfer from a Division I power arrives on campus and is penciled in as the starter by fans and media. Roberts, a sophomore quarterback from Louisville High School, is probably shorter than what he is listed as (6-foot) on the EMCC football team's roster. When John Franklin III, a transfer from Florida State and an All-Atlantic Coastal Conference track performer, arrived in Scooba, Roberts elevated his play. He did so with the intent to play a key role in EMCC's march to history this season. Roberts started that journey on a strong note Thursday, running for a touchdown and throwing for another in No. 1 EMCC's 69-20 victory against Southwest Mississippi C.C. at Sullivan-Windham Field.
SCOOBA -- East Mississippi Community College freshman running back Jacquez Horsley has never doubted his athletic ability. He has doubted whether he could stay healthy enough to realize the depth of that talent. Injuries put a major damper on each of Horsley's final two seasons at Starkville High School. Those setbacks also might have played a role in his lack of major Division I offers, so signing with the state of Mississippi's premier junior college program was in his words "a chance to re-start my career." The opening act of the new career was a smash hit.
SCOOBA -- Having played football his entire life, East Mississippi Community College defensive lineman Ronald Ollie knows the length of a football field. However, Ollie had never really thought about how much of that field he could cover with the other team in pursuit in live action. Ollie returned a fumble 24 yards for the go-ahead touchdown Thursday night at Sullivan-Windham Field. From there, the floodgates opened as No. 1 EMCC beat Southwest Mississippi C.C. 69-20 in the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) season opener for both teams.
STARKVILLE -- Jamaal Clayborn is finding the move from right guard to center to be more than just putting the ball into the quarterback's hands. The Mississippi State junior has taken on a leadership role at his new position. Before he snaps the ball to quarterback Dak Prescott, he has to make sure everybody is on the same page.
1. Clark helps MSU's operations running smoothly COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Schaefer finds right fit with Jackson COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Copiah-Lincoln ends EMCC's winning streak at 25 COLLEGE SPORTS
4. MSU's Strugg will miss two months COLLEGE SPORTS
5. MSU soccer wants to sharpen scoring touch COLLEGE SPORTS