Dale’s Sideline View

Posted on: November 11,2019

Four weeks ago, there were 16 unbeaten college football teams. The list shortened again as Alabama and Penn State fell from those ranks. The Crimson Tide lost at home to unbeaten LSU while Penn State fell at undefeated Minnesota. The final five still with perfect marks are LSU, Minnesota, Ohio State, Baylor and defending national champion Clemson. Baylor had to go into two overtimes to escape a TCU upset. So, who is in danger this Saturday out of these five perfect teams? We will start with Minnesota, who is 9-0 for the first time since Pearl Harbor was attacked. The No. 7 Golden Gophers will have a great challenge against Iowa (6-3) in what could be a trap game. Another unbeaten team that will face a stern test is Baylor. The Bears will host Oklahoma (8-1) as first place is up for grabs in the Big 12. Ohio State and LSU should be heavy favorites this Saturday in their games against Rutgers and Ole Miss, respectively. Clemson will host Wake Forest (7-2) in their toughest matchup since their one-point win over North Carolina. 

Joe Heisman!

Well, Joe Burrow showed that he is the reason that LSU is the top college football team. Joe, who has deep Mississippi roots out of Amory, has now entrenched himself as the leading Heisman Trophy candidate. The Ohio State transfer passed for 393 yards and three scores to lead LSU over Bama. Burrow also came up big late in the game with crucial runs that kept the Tigers offense on the field. These prime time games always come down to who takes care of the pigskin. Alabama didn’t, and they lost. The big SEC game this week is Georgia (8-1) at Auburn (7-2.) 

Veterans Day defense 

Ole Miss and Southern Mississippi in honor of Veterans Day played inspired defense to lead their teams to wins. The Rebels defense held New Mexico State to 194 yards of offense while Southern Mississippi held UAB to only 173 yards of total offense. 

Southern Mississippi (6-3, 4-1) avenged last season’s bitter overtime loss to UAB with a beat down of the Blazers. The 600th win in school history secured USM’s bowl eligibility for the fifth straight year. Next up is an evening road trip to UTSA. 

Ole Miss (4-6, 2-4) ended a three-game losing streak as they rushed for 447 yards – their most since 1962 – against the winless Aggies. This Saturday at 6 p.m. Ole Miss will host longtime rival LSU. 

Mississippi State (4-5, 2-4) will take on Alabama this Saturday morning. The Bulldogs had the week off after crushing Arkansas two weeks ago. It could be that they are catching the Tide at a good time. 

Top-ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast edged Northwest, 22-19, to win the MACJC. The winning Bulldogs will advance to the NJCAA National Championship game to be played on December 5 in Pittsburg, Kansas. It was the Bulldogs’ (11-0) sixteenth state title in school history but first since 2012. 

Baseball Legend  & Rhodes Scholar 

Willie “Rat” McGowan, the longtime Alcorn baseball coach died last week. The Alcorn baseball stadium is named for him. The McComb native won 720 games from 1972-2009. He led the Braves to fourteen 20-win seasons and five SWAC titles. 

Jackson State wide receiver Jordan Jefferson has been named as a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholar. The Jackson native would be the first recipient in Jackson State history. 

Odds & Ends 

Belhaven (2-7) and Delta State (6-3) were winners while Jackson State (4-6), Alcorn (7-3), Millsaps (5-4) and Mississippi College (4-5) came up short. This week Delta State heads to Clinton to battle the Chocs this Saturday at 2 p.m. in the 40th Heritage Bell Classic. 

The Saints (7-2) were upset by the Atlanta Falcons (2-7). 

Arkansas head football coach Chad Morris was fired only 22 games into his tenure.

The Rebels, Golden Eagles and Bulldogs men’s teams opened their basketball seasons with wins. The women also opened their seasons as the Lady Bulldogs overwhelmed USM and the Lady Rebels defeated Mississippi Valley. Dale is a Waynesboro resident and has been writing sports since 1973.

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