After near postponement due to a hurricane the first week of college football in the state of Mississippi is in the books. Most of the games went true to form but there were a couple of surprises.
Each week, JFP Sports is going to spend Thursdays with a look back and a look head for each Mississippi team. Also, we will give you predictions for week two college football games.
Mississippi State Bulldogs
The Bulldogs took care of business early jumping out to a 35-6 halftime lead over Jackson State. Mississippi State was quicker, stronger, and had more depth than JSU did. MSU should have won this game big in Dan Mullen’s fourth year.
This is not a knock against the Tigers. I said last week they would need a special game and a super effort to pull off a win in this game.
We didn’t learn much about the Bulldogs last week but we will this week against Auburn. MSU has given Auburn all they wanted for the last two years but haven’t been able to finish off the Tigers.
Mississippi State needs a win over another SEC West team besides Ole Miss. Auburn could be the best chance the Bulldogs have of accomplishing that goal (Texas A&M is the other but the Aggies are a major unknown).
MSU gets Auburn a home at a time the program seems to be at its highest point since Jackie Sherrill roamed the sidelines. The time is now for the Bulldogs to take the next step as a program.
Auburn had some big plays against Clemson in their opener but bogged down on offense most of the game. The Tigers gave up huge rushing yards to Clemson in the 26-19 loss.
Both teams in a win in this but MSU as a program needs a win more.
MSU 24 Auburn 14
Ole Miss Rebels
Ole Miss ushered in the Hugh Freeze Era Saturday night and after struggling for a half with Central Arkansas the Rebels put the game away in the second half. The Rebels outscored the Bears 35-7 in the third and fourth quarter to seal the win.
Central Arkansas lead 20-14 at halftime but depth doomed the FCS school. The Ole Miss offense was led by Bo Wallace who had 82 yards on the ground to lead the Rebels in rushing.
Running against Central Arkansas is one thing but doing it in SEC play is another but the Rebels get another tune up game this week against UTEP.
The Miners gave Oklahoma all they wanted for four quarters but didn’t have the depth or the field goal kickers the Sooners used last week. Defense and special teams carried the Miners most of the day against Oklahoma.
UTEP blocked a field goal and a punt against the Sooners. The Miners returned the block punt for a touchdown.
Ole Miss has the talent to win this game and should win this game. The Rebels will face a much stiffer test next week against Texas but can’t overlook UTEP.
Ole Miss 34 UTEP 16
Southern Miss Golden Eagles
USM was in the game against Nebraska until late in the second quarter. The Cornhuskers scored a touchdown with a little over a minute before halftime doomed the Golden Eagles.
Southern Miss was sparked by a 100 kickoff return for a touchdown by Tracy Lampley and got 84 rushing yards from Anthony Alford. USM played the rotating quarterback game and it really didn’t seem to help them against Nebraska.
Chris Campbell looked the part, at times throwing the ball but having to give way for Alford. No telling how well Campbell would have thrown the ball if he was able to stay in the game.
Alford is the future and might be the right now but Southern Miss needs to figure that out right now. USM as the week off and play C-USA rival East Carolina next week.
If Alford is going to be the man then he needs to start and get first team snaps throwing the ball. Against Nebraska, Alford completed one pass for six yards. That is not going to get it done.
Off this week, ECU next week
Jackson State Tigers I’m sure most Tigers fans didn’t expect much against Mississippi State. Jackson State wasn’t terrible but was up against a team with more talent and depth.
JSU has to throw that game away and get ready for Tennessee State. Jackson State will have a very good shot of winning this game if they didn’t beat up against MSU.
The Jackson State offense was able to move the ball against Mississippi State but just couldn’t find the end zone against a very quick defense. JSU looked tough on defense but was against a SEC team with playmakers all over the field.
Tennessee State spent last week beating Florida A&M 17-14. I feel good about Jackson State’s chances this week.
JSU 31 TSU 17
Alcorn State Braves
Look out for Alcorn State, this season. The Braves opened the Jay Hopson Era with win over Grambling State. The first white coach in SWAC history is 1-0 in the SWAC.
Alcorn State outscored Grambling State 13-0 in the fourth quarter to pull out the 22-21 victory. Darius Smith was the start for the Braves at quarterback running and throwing his team to a win.
The Braves now face a strong FCS team James Madison, this week. Don’t expect the winning to continue because the Dukes are a good football team.
James Madison 21 ASU 7
Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils
Poor Mississippi Valley State had a win against Concordia College until the final minute. Concordia scored with a little over a minute left to snatch victory from the Delta Devils with a 20-19 win.
MVSU plays Alabama State in their first SWAC game of the season. I have a feeling it is going to be a long season for Delta Devils fans.
ASU 31 MVSU 14
Delta State Statesmen
It looked like Delta State had a victory in the bag against Fort Valley State until the fourth quarter. DSU was up 23-9 heading to the final 15 minutes against FVSU.
In the fourth quarter the Statesmen couldn’t move the ball on offense, turnovers, penalties and miscues seemed to come like a flood against FVSU. The Wildcats outscored DSU 22-0 in the fourth quarter to earn the 31-23 victory.
Delta State has to put that horrible fourth quarter behind them as they head to North Carolina to face Elizabeth City State University. Statesmen have to finish this week.
DSU 31 ECSU 21
Majors finally broke a losing streak against main rival Mississippi College in “The Backyard Brawl”. Millsaps defeated the Choctaws 23-17 after the game was moved to Saturday from Thursday due to Hurricane Isaac.
Now Millsaps must put that victory behind them and get ready for the rest of the 2012 season.
Millsaps faces LaGrange on Saturday on the road, this a team the Majors defeated 24-7 at home. Look for the Millsaps winning streak this season to reach two in the 2012 season.
Millsaps 28 Lagrange 14
Mississippi College Choctaws
Mississippi College came up short against their rival Millsaps last Saturday. The Choctaws have to put the loss behind them and not let the Majors beat them twice.
MC plays their first home game on Saturday against Webber International. I have a feeling the Choctaws get their first win of 2012 this week.
MC 17 Webber 7
Belhaven gave the University of the Cumberlands (KY) all they wanted for three quarters but in the fourth quarter the 19th ranked Cumberlands pulled away for the 21-10 win. The Blazers faced a tough test on the road to open the 2012 season.
Next up for the Blazers is Louisiana College in the home opener for Belhaven. This game should provide a good chance to get that first victory of this season.
Belhaven 23 Louisiana College 13
Hinds Community College
Opened the season with a 42-21 over Mississippi Delta. Eagles play Coahoma next.
HCC 34 Coahoma 21
Holmes Community College
Holmes fell 10-8 to Jones Junior College to open the Season. Next up for the Bulldogs is Mississippi Gulf Coast.
MGCC 21 Holmes 14
Last week I was 7-3 predicting the winners for the state's college football teams that we started the season previewing.