Sideline View by Dale McKee
MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - If you are a Mississippi State football fan, you could not have asked for a much better beginning to the Mike Leach era. The rest of the nation and the SEC are taking the “Mad Pirate” very seriously as they went from unranked to No. 14 this week. Leach’s quarterback K.J. Costello passed 60 times for a record 623 yards and five touchdowns in his debut of the “Air Raid” offense as the Bulldogs knocked off LSU, 44-34. Costello, in his MSU debut after transferring from Stanford, broke the previous SEC record of Georgia’s Eric Zeier of 544 yards versus Southern Mississippi in 1993. Three Bulldogs had over 120 yards receiving as Osirus Mitchell (183), Kylin Hill (158) and JaVonta Payton (122) all had personal best games. MSU’s offense finished the game with 16 plays over 20 yards. What is even more incredible is the fact that MSU scored 44 points despite turning the ball over four times. LSU quarterback Myles Brennan, a St. Stanislaus graduate, did well in his first start as he passed for 345 yards. MSU hosts Arkansas this Saturday.
Dan Mullen led his Florida team into Oxford Saturday and was pleased with the end result, a 51-35 win. Mullen’s third Florida team has a formidable offense and a solid kicking game. Ole Miss, under Lane Kiffin, had his offense in high gear as he exposed the Gators defense. The Rebels, with a completely new coaching staff and no spring practice, ran up 613 yards of offense against the Gators. Rebel quarterback Matt Corral threw for 295 yards and wide receiver Elijah Moore was impressive with 227 yards receiving. Next up for Ole Miss is a road trip to Kentucky.
In the first regular season meeting since 2010, Tulane ran all over Southern Mississippi, 66-24. USM jumped out to a 14-0 lead, but the remainder of the game belonged to Tulane as the Green Wave offense finished with 572 total yards. The Wave rushed for 430 yards under the guidance of offensive coordinator Will Hall, an Amory native. USM’s Jack Abraham threw for 299 yards as the Eagles lost their fourth consecutive home game. Next up is a trip to North Texas.
Mississippi JUCO football will kick off Thursday night. Each team will play a six-game divisional schedule over the next seven weeks. The regular season will end on November 12 with the playoffs beginning the following week. East Mississippi CC has announced they will be withdrawing from playing football this fall due to COVID-19.
Former USM quarterback Nick Mullens made his first start of the season as he passed for 343 yards and one score in leading the San Francisco 49ers over the N.Y. Giants.
The PAC-12 announced last week that they would play a 7-game conference only schedule beginning on November 6.
The 53rd Sanderson Farms Championship
This annual PGA event will be played this week at the Country Club of Jackson. The tournament’s primary beneficiary is Friends of Children’s Hospital. This tournament has been an annual stop on the PGA Tour since 1968. No spectators will be in attendance at this year’s event, but all four rounds will be broadcast live on the Golf Channel.
Petco Park in San Diego and Dodger Stadium in L.A. will host the American League playoffs while Arlington’s Globe Life and Houston’s Minute Maid Park will feature the National League playoffs this week. TBS and ESPN will televise all the playoffs.
Dale is a Waynesboro resident who has been writing sports in Mississippi since 1973.
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