SportsBlog

Weekly Look Back & Look Forward: Heading to Week 4

It’s Thursday, so you know what time it is for the JFP Sports blog. Every Thursday, we look back and look ahead at all the action for the college football programs in Mississippi.

Each week we name our biggest winner of the week and there were several teams in the running. Mississippi State entered the AP & USA Today top 25 polls and Jackson State go win number one of the season.

But this week’s biggest winner was Mississippi Valley State. The Delta Devils went on the road to Southern University and got a 6-0 win.

That is MVSU third win in 24 games and the earliest win in a season for the program since September 26, 2009 against Alabama State. The Delta Devils won 10-3.

Mississippi State Bulldogs

Mississippi State built a big lead (23-7 at halftime) against Troy and then had to hold on for the 30-24 victory. The Bulldogs defense was shredded in the second half.

A couple of things to keep in mind, first off Troy is always tough and especially at home and MSU could have had a letdown after halftime. Sometimes it is hard for a college team to keep mental focus in a game that is a blowout.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t reason to worry if you are a MSU fan but until the Bulldogs show last week’s performance was a trend. Just consider it a hiccup and be sure Dan Mullen will have his guy’s ears if they lost mental concentration.

This week, MSU comes home this week to faces South Alabama out of the Sun Belt. One thing we have learned early is that Sun Belt teams aren’t afraid of SEC schools.

Mississippi State found that out last week and Auburn, Arkansas and Kentucky also know the danger of overlooking a team out of the Sun Belt. The Bulldogs will be at home and should take care of business for four quarters.

I would only begin worry if this game is close like last week.

MSU 42 South Alabama 10

Ole Miss Rebels

There is not much to say about last week’s 66-31 pounding the Rebels took last week against Texas. The Longhorns are a better program right now than Ole Miss.

It is early but a good sign was the Rebels didn’t quit on Hugh Freeze. Ole Miss late last season gave up on former head coach Houston Nutt.

This week, Ole Miss hits the road for the first time this season against Tulane. The Green Wave is not a very good team and one of the weakest teams in Conference-USA.

If the Rebels lose this game they will have let Texas beat them twice after the buildup for last week’s game. Ole Miss needs to go to New Orleans and get a win against a team they are far more talented than this week.

It would be a step back for this program to lose against Tulane.

Ole Miss 31 Tulane 14

Southern Miss Golden Eagles

Last week super freshman Anthony Alford was overwhelmed in his first collegiate start. Alford got USM on the board early in the first quarter with a one yard touchdown run but it was a struggle for him after that.

The Golden Eagles eventually pulled Alford for Chris Campbell. Southern Miss could have made the change sooner and might not have lost 24-14 to East Carolina.

This week against Western Kentucky, expect for Campbell to get the start with Alford coming in during running downs. Last week, the Hilltoppers defeated Kentucky 32-31 in overtime.

Even though this is the third game of the season for USM it is a must win game if the winning season streak is going to continue. The Golden Eagles have the talent to pull out a victory but can’t put all the weight on Alford’s young shoulders.

I believe Alford is going to be a very good college quarterback but he needs a little more work on his passing game. The USM coaching staff put Alford in a bad spot and left him in the game too long.

If the Golden Eagles use a combination of Campbell and Alford (using him in spots he can be successful) a win will not be out of the question. The USM defense has been very good this season but they need the offense to help them out.

USM 28 Western Kentucky 14

Jackson State Tigers

The Tigers broke through to get into the win column last week with a 45-35 victory over Texas Southern. This week's person of the day Clayton Moore went off with a sensational game.

This week JSU faces Southern, who fell 6-0 to Mississippi Valley State last week, in their home opener. The Tigers will have plenty of emotion to feed off of this week and ride it to a victory.

JSU 31 Southern 28

Alcorn State Braves

Last week the Braves lost to Arkansas Pine Bluff 24-6. The Braves trailed by one point at halftime 7-6, but were held scoreless in the second half.

Alcorn State faces Arkansas State, out of the Sun Belt, in game that has the Braves playing an FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) team. This will be a tough game for ASU win against a team that has talent on the road.

Arkansas State 31 Alcorn State 14

Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils

MVSU faces Northwestern State this week after getting their first win of the season. The Delta Devils were great on defense last week, bending but not breaking when it matter and getting timely turnovers when they needed them.

Northwestern State defeated Arkansas-Monticello out of Division II but have been blown out by Texas Tech and Nevada this season.

This is a winnable game for Mississippi Valley State and I am riding with the Delta Devils until they face a tougher opponent or prove me wrong.

MVSU 24 Northwestern State 10

Delta State Statesmen

I wrote this last week about Delta State not realizing they were off last week:

Delta State bounced back to defeat Elizabeth City State University 26-7 after dropping the first game of the season. The Statesmen now face North Alabama in the first conference game of the year.

North Alabama lost their home opener 31-10 to Harding to fall to 1-1 on the season. DSU needs to win this game to keep their playoff hopes alive and get the first home win of the season.

Even with the week off I am going with DSU for the win.

DSU 28 UNA 17

Millsaps Majors

The Majors are 3-0 after demolishing Point 54-28 last week. Millsaps starts conference play this week on the road against Centre.

Millsaps has been road warriors so far going 2-0 away from home. The Majors have shown they have plenty of talent to play with teams in Division III and can win any game on their schedule.

Millsaps 31 Centre 21

Mississippi College Choctaws

Mississippi College is off this week after stepping up to play Division II West Alabama. The Choctaws need to get healthy because they start conference play against Hardin-Simmons next week.

Belhaven Blazers

It has been a tough start for the Blazers who are 0-3 on the season. Belhaven dropped last week's game 36-30 to Cumberland University (Tenn) in overtime.

The Blazers have been played everyone tough and face a tough Campbellsville University (KY) this week. I know at some point Belhaven will get a win and this could be the week at home against a winless opponent.

Either the Blazers or the Tigers are going to get a win. I have a feeling it will be the Blazers.

Belhaven 28 Campbellsville 21

Hinds Community College Eagles

Hinds laid a bomb last week falling to Gulf Coast 41-28 last week. This week the Eagles get back to on the winning side against Co-Lin.

HCC 35 Co-Lin 21

Holmes Community College Bulldogs

Holmes got a 35-14 win last week against Northeast. The Bulldogs face Itawamba Community College this week and it will be tough to get win number two.

ICC 42 HCC 21

Last week's predictions (6-4) Season total (21-9)

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