Sideline View by Dale McKee
Who will play quarterback at Mississippi State? MSU head coach Joe Moorhead brought in Penn State transfer Tommy Stevens to compete with junior Keytaon Thompson. Moorhead talked about the battle Saturday at MSU media day in Starkville. “I want my quarterback to beat you with his brain, his arm and his legs. I think the battle has elevated the entire offensive unit. We are grading every snap and charting everything that they do. Both are sharing snaps with the first team offense. They’re both showing that they can run the ball. Ultimately, at the end of the day, it’s going to come down to which of those two throw the ball the best," said Moorhead. The Bulldogs head coach has stated that he would like to name a starter at least ten days before the season opener on August 31 in the Superdome against Louisiana.
Southern Miss has last year’s starter Jack Abraham back and also has last year’s back up Tate Whatley returning. Southern Miss head coach Jay Hopson spent several minutes Saturday at Media Days discussing his quarterback situation. “Jack played pretty good in our morning scrimmage, but Tate is battling, so we are just going to let them keep competing,” stated Hopson. Abraham was 19-for-36 for 239 yards and a touchdown. Whatley finished the day 17-for-26 for 219 yards with three touchdowns. USM will host Alcorn State on August 31 at M.M. Roberts Stadium.
Ole Miss coach Matt Luke is going with redshirt signal caller Matt Corral as his opening game starter against Memphis on August 31. Three true freshmen in Grant Tisdale, Kinkead Dent and Oak Grove’s John Rhys Plumlee will battle for the back-up role.
Gulf State Conference Race
Defending national champion Valdosta is the preseason pick of the coaches to win the 2019 title. West Georgia, West Alabama, West Florida, Florida Tech, Delta State, North Greenville, Mississippi College and Shorter round out the poll.
SWC Pre-Season Poll
The Alcorn State Braves and Southern University are the picks to meet in the Southwestern Athletic Conference football championship game. Alcorn was first in the East preseason poll with Alabama A&M, Jackson State, Alabama State and Mississippi Valley following. Southern was followed by Prairie View A&M, Grambling State, Texas Southern and Arkansas Pine-Bluff in the West.
Brees sits in first Saints contest
The New Orleans Saints fell to the visiting Minnesota Vikings Friday night, 34-25, in their first preseason contest. Saints starting quarterback Drew Brees sat the game out while his backup Teddy Bridgewater played the first half, completing 14-of-19 passes for 134 yards and a TD. The Saints will visit the L.A. Chargers this coming Sunday afternoon.
The San Francisco Giants made it official that they will retire former Mississippi State baseball star Will Clark’s No. 22 jersey. The Giants honored the 1989 team that went to the World Series on Sunday. Clark played eight years with the Giants and was a five-time All-Star and finished in the top five MVP voting four times. The New Orleans native will join Bill Terry, Mel Ott, Carl Hubbell, Monte Irvin, Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda, Gaylord Perry and Willie McCovey.
Two high school baseball players from Mississippi played in the Perfect Game All-American Classic this past Sunday night. Columbia Academy’s Slade Wilks, a Southern Miss commit, is a 6-2, 215-pound home run hitting outfielder. Another slugger is Blaze Jordan of DeSoto Central, a 6-2, 218-pound right-handed third baseman. Jordan is a MSU commit.
Former Mississippi State defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s son Corbin has committed to the MSU baseball Bulldogs. The elder Grantham is presently the DC at Florida under Dan Mullen. Corbin will play his senior year of high school baseball in Gainesville.
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