Southern Miss and Mississippi State both opened the 150th year of college football with wins while Ole Miss fell to Memphis.
The USM Golden Eagles used the spark of Jaylond Adams to down the pesky Alcorn Braves, 38-10. Adams may be the first player in 103 years of Southern Miss football to return the opening kickoff of the opening game for a touchdown. Adams later tallied an 80-yard score on a punt return. In addition, he made three catches for 21 yards and returned two punts for a total of 93 yards to finish the day with 203 all-purpose yards. Adams became the first Golden Eagle to have a touchdown on both a kickoff and a punt return in the same season since Tracy Lampley did in 2009 and the first player to record two special team return touchdowns in the same game since James Henry accomplished that feat against UTEP in the 1988 Independence Bowl.
Penn State transfer quarterback Tommy Stevens was just what the doctor ordered for the MSU football team. Stevens led the Bulldogs offense as they rolled up 497 yards on the day in the Superdome against Louisiana in their 38-28 win. Kylin Hill also exploded for 197 yards on the ground. The offense has improved significantly from last year. The defense lost two starters for the game and also missing were three first round NFL draft choices in Montez Sweat, Jeffery Simmons and Jonathan Abraham. The Bulldogs will host Southern Mississippi @2: 30 p.m. on Saturday. The game will be shown on ESPNU.
Rebels D a lot better
Ole Miss defense played well in their 15-13 loss to Memphis. The Rebels did get tired in the end as the Tigers controlled the ball for the final six minutes of the game. Depth helped the Rebels on the defensive line and defensive backfield. Linebacker play and a pass rush were not up to par in the loss to the Tigers. The offense has some young talent, but inexperience showed except for the play of running back Scottie Phillips. The Rebels open the SEC season Saturday night on the SEC Network against Arkansas.
Alcorn hosts MC
Jackson State fell to Bethune Cookman, 36-15, and Mississippi Valley threw the ball 52 times Saturday night in their 26-20 loss to Tennessee State. Valley visits Lamar while Jackson State travels to Mobile to battle South Alabama this week. Mississippi College opens the season at Alcorn State while Delta State opens their season at home versus Tusculum on Thursday night.
The Mississippi community college football league is pretty stout. There were two upsets last week as the top- ranked East Mississippi Lions were stunned at Hinds and a 2018 winless Coahoma team shocked fifth-ranked visiting Jones.
Odds & Ends
The New Orleans Saints open their regular season next Monday, September 9, at home against the Houston Texans. The NFL season opens in Chicago when Green Bay visits the Bears on Thursday night. The feature game this week will be the Super Bowl Champ Patriots hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
Most Mississippi baseball fans pull for either the St. Louis Cardinals or the Atlanta Braves. The Braves enter the week with a 5.5 game lead over the Washington Nationals. Beginning on Thursday, the Braves will play 14 games against the Nationals and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Cardinals entered the week with a 3.5 game lead over the Chicago Cubs.
The Biloxi Shuckers won both halves of the Southern League. They will host Pensacola beginning Thursday in the South Division playoffs.
Dale is a native of Waynesboro and has been writing sports in Mississippi since 1973. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org