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Sideline View by Dale McKee

(WTOK)
Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 10:09 AM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) -

Mississippi State (1-0) staged the largest comeback in school history as the Bulldogs scored three touchdowns in the final period to overcome Louisiana Tech, 35-34.  MSU will host North Carolina State (1-0) this Saturday night. Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin was back in Oxford as his Rebels defeated Louisville, 43-24, Monday night in Atlanta. Kiffin tested positive for COVID-19 even though he has been fully vaccinated. The Rebels defense showed vast improvement over last year while the offense looks like it is still very explosive. This Saturday night Ole Miss (1-0) will host Austin Peay (1-0).

In SEC play, No. 1 Alabama rolled over Miami; Georgia’s defensive gem led the No. 5 Bulldogs past No. 3 Clemson; and Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas A&M and South Carolina all won by large margins. LSU fell to UCLA in a game played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena while Vanderbilt fell to East Tennessee. This week the only conference game will pit Missouri at Kentucky. SEC member Arkansas will host future SEC member Texas this Saturday night. The Razorbacks and the Longhorns used to be the two top dogs in the now non-existence Southwest Conference.

The Battle of the Bay in Mobile saw the South Alabama Jaguars led by former Southern Mississippi football player Kane Womack ruin Will Hall’s debut as head coach of Southern Mississippi, 31-7. Former South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley passed for two scores and ran for another in leading the Jaguars. Southern Miss (0-1) turned the ball over four times as their offense never got going. USM hopes to rebound as they host Grambling (1-0) of the SWAC this Saturday night.

The Mississippi JUCO kicked off last week as No. 2 Northwest, No. 6 Gulf Coast, No. 7 East Mississippi and No. 12 Jones all were impressive in their wins. Southwest and Delta both registered wins and maybe the surprise of the week was unranked Coahoma’s win over No. 14 Hinds. All eyes will be on Ellisville this Thursday as Jones hosts Northwest.

The small colleges kicked off last week as Belhaven claimed the Riverside Rumble, 56-28, over neighboring Millsap. Delta State rolled over Bethel, 42-14, while Mississippi College fell to Albany State, 24-0. DSU will host McKendree of Illinois while Belhaven will host Southwestern University this Saturday. MC and Millsaps have open dates this week.

In SWAC play, Mississippi Valley was blanked by Murray State, 35-0, while Jackson State eked by Florida A&M, 7-6, in a conference game played at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. Alcorn had the week off. This week, two NFL Hall of Famers will face each other as Deion Sanders’ Jackson State (1-0) plays the Eddie George coached Tennessee State Tigers (0-1) in their annual Southern Heritage Classic at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, while Alcorn (0-1) hosts Northwestern State (0-1). Mississippi Valley (0-1) has an open date.

The New Orleans Saints have moved their home opener against Green Bay on September 12 to Jacksonville, Florida. The move was necessitated because of Hurricane Ida and the damage the storm did to the city of New Orleans. The Saints’ first home game will now be on October 3 when they host the New York Giants.

Odds & Ends

Greenville Christian Academy, the defending 3-A Mississippi Association of Independent Schools, lost to Class 7-A powerhouse Collins Hill High School of Georgia in the Atlanta Freedom Bowl in Alpharetta, 37-22, this past Thursday night. Collins Hill is ranked No. 7 in the country by Max Preps. The loss ended a 14-game winning streak for the Greenville private school.

Week one of the high school football season saw a rarity in football scoring with Tupelo defeating Lafayette, 5-3. In week two, Booneville edged Baldwyn, 2-0, for another unusual score.

Dale is a Waynesboro resident who has been writing sports in Mississippi since 1973.

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