Sideline View by Dale McKee

Published: Nov. 9, 2020 at 3:57 PM CST
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The National and State elections took center stage this past week, as they should have, even though there may be some confusion on the final totals. Southern Mississippi and Mississippi State used the week to secure much needed football wins.

First Home Wins for USM

USM (2-5) is proving to never do anything easy in 2020, as they needed a 17-point explosion in the final quarter to edge past North Alabama, 24-13, in Hattiesburg. It also marked the first win for interim Golden Eagle head coach Tim Billings. The Eagles were led by third string quarterback Trey Lowe and the running of Kevin Perkins and Frank Gore Jr. as well as a dominating defensive effort. Perkins scored all three touchdowns while Gore was the leading rusher with 103 yards. Lowe threw for 100 yards. The visiting Lions (0-3) could muster only 23 yards on the ground against the Eagles defense. USM will travel to Western Kentucky this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The game will be on the CBS Sports Network.

Air Raid still on training wheels

Mississippi State (2-4) defense came up with five turnovers, and the offense was 4-for-4 in the Red Zone. That formula was enough as the Bulldogs eased past Vanderbilt, 24-14, this past Saturday. It was also Mike Leach’s first home win as the Bulldogs' head coach. Brandon freshman Will Rogers made his first start under center as he threw the ball 46 times in racking up 35 completions and 226 yards. The Air Raid offense that Leach brought from afar is still having trouble lifting off as the rushing attack had a negative total of 22. Vandy (0-5) suited up only 58 players -- just five over the SEC requirements -- but still racked up 478 yards of offense. MSU will host Auburn (4-2) this week at 3 p.m.

Ole Miss football (2-4) had an open date this week and will host the South Carolina Gamecocks (2-4) this Saturday at

(6:30 p.m.) Both MSU and Ole Miss games will be on the SEC Network.

The Masters

The 84th edition of the Masters Golf Tournament will be played beginning this Thursday at the Augusta National Country Club in Georgia. The tournament is usually held the second week of April but because of COVID-19 was postponed until the second week of November. The plan is for the 2021 tournament to go back to their original April dates. The often-injured Tiger Woods shocked the world 19 months ago by winning his fifth Masters Green Jacket with a one-stroke win over a trio of contenders. Even though Tiger has finished in the top 10 only once during the abbreviated 2020 PGA Tour, he’s still capable of recapturing his magic touch on the famed course.

On a sad note, long time Mississippi High School football coach Jim Sizemore,who made seven different stops in our state coaching football, recently died in Florida at 85. Sizemore was a demanding old school coach who met the challenges of rebuilding programs. He made coaching stops at Warren Central, Vicksburg, Porters Chapel, Forest Hill, Collins and Hattiesburg.

Odds & Ends

Coahoma, PRC and Northwest won in JUCO action this past week. Northwest (3-0) and Northeast (4-1) are the top two north teams while Gulf Coast (3-0), Jones (3-1), Co-Lin (3-1) and Hinds (2-1) will fight it out for the final two-playoff spots in the southern half. The JUCO playoffs are set for December 5th and 12th.

Jackson State picked up a national 4-star football commit in quarterback Sheduer Sanders (6-2, 200) of Cedar Hills, Texas. He is the son of Jackson State head football coach Deion Sanders.

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

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