Sideline View by Dale McKee

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The wait is over. The 2019 college football season opens this week. Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Southern Mississippi open this Saturday. Ole Miss will travel to Memphis for an 11 a.m. kick off, State travels to New Orleans to tangle with Louisiana-Lafayette, also at 11, and USM will host Alcorn State at 6 p.m.

Mississippi Valley will travel to Tennessee State on Saturday night, while on Sunday afternoon Jackson State will travel to Atlanta to battle Bethune-Cookman in a contest that will be televised by ESPN 2.

In Southeastern Conference action, Georgia visits Vanderbilt and Texas A&M will host Texas State on Thursday night. On Saturday, Alabama opens in Atlanta against Duke, South Carolina visits North Carolina, Missouri hosts Wyoming, Tennessee entertains Georgia State, Kentucky is at home against Toledo, Georgia Southern travels to LSU, Arkansas opens at home against Portland State, and finally Auburn meets Oregon in Arlington, Texas.

Mississippi College and Delta State will open next week. MC will visit Alcorn State and DSU will open at home against Tusculum in Cleveland.

JUCO Football

The most powerful junior college football league in America will begin another season this Thursday night as all 14 teams will play. The schedule has Jones at Coahoma, Holmes at Co-Lin, East Mississippi at Hinds, Pearl River at Itawamba, Gulf Coast at Delta, Northeast at Southwest and East Central at Northwest.

101 Times

The longest consecutive high school football rivalry in Mississippi will be played in Laurel this week when the Tornadoes host Hattiesburg. This will be the 98th“Little Brown Jug Game” that began back in 1922. Laurel leads the Jug series 47-45-5. The teams have also met three times in the MHSAA playoffs with Laurel winning two of those contests; those games do not count in the Little Brown Jug series. Hattiesburg has held possession of the Jug since 2014.

Hattiesburg and Vicksburg each played their 1,000th high school football game this past weekend. Hattiesburg fell to Petal while Vicksburg lost to Madison Central.

Roller Coaster Week for MSU

Mississippi State athletics got a mixture of news this week. Some of the news was good and some not so. The good news was that one of their best women basketball players in Jordan Dansberry was granted another year to play. She is an Arkansas transfer that was the Ladies Bulldogs’ third leading scorer. The not so good was they may have lost their backup quarterback Keytaon Thompson, as he entered the NCAA Transfer Portal. Thompson lost the starting quarterback battle to Penn State transfer Tommy Stevens. The Bulldogs also dodged post-season bans as the NCAA has put the school on three years of probation in both their football and basketball programs. The school reported that ten football players and one basketball player was helped by a part-time tutor in an on-line chemistry class. The players involved will have to miss games during this season.

Change is good

Taylorsville’s Billy Hamilton left the last place Kansas City Royals and signed with the first place Atlanta Braves this past week. Hamilton has been a plus for the Braves as a pinch runner and late inning outfield replacement. He drove in the winning run for the National League Eastern Division leading the Braves in one game, stole two bases and showed his speed going from first to home on a teammate’s single. He also contributed two hits in his five plate appearances.

The Sanderson Farms Championship will be held at the Jackson Country Club the week of September 16-22. The total purse this year is $6.6 million with the winner earning $1,188,000.

Contact Dale at ddmckee18@yahoo.comHe has been writing about Mississippi sports since 1973.