Sideline View by Dale McKee
MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) -
Who would have believed a team would defeat both Alabama and Auburn in the same football season but turn around and lose to both Ole Miss and Mississippi State? Who would believe a team would go into Auburn and trail, 28-3, midway through the second period and in the end win by nine points? Well, football fans, welcome to post-COVID-19 football of 2021.
Mississippi State, led by Will Rogers’ school record six touchdown passes, had the largest comeback win in program history. Auburn (6-4, 3-3) scored on their first four possessions of the game and led, 28-3, midway through the second quarter before MSU rallied, scoring 40 unanswered points, to claim a 43-34 win. The Bulldogs (6-4, 4-3) will now host Tennessee State (5-5) this Saturday morning.
Ole Miss jumped back into the Top 10 in the AP football poll by using a couple of fourth period interceptions to defeat No. 16 Texas A&M, 29-19. A.J. Finley returned an interception 52 yards and Ashanti Cistrunk’s pick set up a touchdown run by Snoop Conner. Matt Corral threw for 247 yards and a touchdown to lead the Ole Miss offense that totaled 504 yards against the Aggies. Ole Miss (8-2, 4-2) will welcome Vanderbilt this Saturday night.
Southern Mississippi fell to No. 15 UTSA this past Saturday, 27-17. The Eagles gave a valiant effort against one of the three undefeated teams left in Division 1 football. UTSA (10-0, 6-0) scored ten points in the final five minutes of the game to eke out the win. USM used running back Frank Gore Jr. at quarterback running the wildcat offense to began the game, and he finished with 123 yards to lead USM. The Eagles (1-9, 0-7) will travel to Louisiana Tech this Friday night.
The College Football Playoff Selection Committee will release their third rankings on Tuesday of this week. This week’s rankings will be very similar to last week’s with Georgia, Alabama, Oregon and Ohio State leading.
Jackson State quarterback Shedeur Sanders threw two touchdown passes to Malachi Wideman in the final five minutes to lead the Tigers past Southern University, 21-17. With the win, JSU (9-1, 7-0) clinched the SWAC Eastern Division championship and a spot in the conference title game on December 4. This Saturday, the Tigers will take on rival Alcorn. Alcorn (6-4, 5-2) held off a Prairie View rally to claim a 31-29 win. Quarterback Felix Harper led the Braves with a couple of TD passes while the defense recovered a Panther fumble with 18 seconds to secure the win. Mississippi Valley downed Alabama State, 44-31, behind Jakobe Thomas’s three rushing touchdowns. Valley (3-7, 2-5) is open this week before meeting Prairie View.
Brady Foley rushed for three touchdowns as Belhaven (7-3) ended their season with a 41-7 win over East Texas Baptist. Millsaps (2-8) fell to Birmingham Southern, 49-7, in their season finale. Jaylen Gibson teamed up with Deante Smith-Moore on a 51-yard pass in the final two minutes to give Mississippi College (4-6) a 28-24 win over West Alabama. Delta State (5-5) fell at West Georgia, 44-7, to conclude their season.
Northwest (9-2) scored on their first five possessions to run past Hinds, 56-21, to claim their second straight MACCC championship. It was the Rangers’ 11th state football title in school history.
Mississippi Connection to Atlanta
Former DeSoto Central star and now a member of the Atlanta Braves Austin Riley won the Silver Slugger Award. The 24-year-old Riley batted .303, blasted 33 home runs, drove in 107 runs, and scored 91 runs for the World Champs.
College Basketball Tip-Offs Mississippi State (2-0), Ole Miss (2-0) and Southern Mississippi (1-1) all opened their 2021-22 seasons last week. State won over North Alabama and Montana; Ole Miss won over New Orleans and Charleston Southern; Southern Mississippi downed William Carey but fell to Louisiana.
Dale is a Waynesboro resident who has been writing sports in Mississippi since 1973. Listen to Dale’s Brouhaha Sports Show with Marshall Wood on Tuesday at 6 p.m. on WABO FM 105.5 in the Waynesboro area. To listen to the broadcast on your computer or smart phone anywhere in the world go to Google Chrome, go to wabo105.com and click listen live. This week’s guest is Mississippi Sports Talk’s Blake Thompson.
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