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Smith Column: MSU, SHS, SA give fans positive feel

September 3, 2011

By DANNY P. SMITH
Sports Editor
sdnsports@bellsouth.net

It's a very good weekend to be a football fan in Starkville.
With the Mississippi State Bulldogs, Starkville Yellowjackets and Starkville Academy Volunteers all winning on Thursday and Friday night, there should be mostly positive Sunday conversations. Churches should be packed across the city today with some happy people.
MSU got things started in the right direction Thursday night with a 59-14 domination of the Memphis Tigers.
To be honest, when the news broke that five Bulldogs were going to be suspended for a violation of team policy, there were concerns that the game was going to be closer than predicted.
It turns out that MSU didn't have anything to worry about against a pretty bad Memphis team.
The Bulldogs had a good rushing night out of Vick Ballard, the passing game was able to hit the big play and the defense kept the Tigers off-balance for the most part.
Despite the distraction going into the game, MSU took care of business and the competition definitely steps up a notch now with the defending national champion Auburn Tigers looming.
At J.E. Logan Field Friday night, Starkville Academy earned a 22-0 shutout against Magnolia Heights School.
The Vols have come a long way in two years under the leadership of coach Jeff Terrill.
It hasn't been that long ago when Magnolia Heights could dominate Starkville Academy.
Even though the Vols were not clicking on all cylinders, it was still good enough to pick up another win and improve to 3-0. SA has already matched its win total of last year.
While the Vols were able to knock off the Chiefs, the Jackets secured another hard-fought victory at Yellowjacket Stadium. Starkville defeated Tupelo 10-7 in its second-straight decision by three points or less.
It seems like the Jackets have developed an identity of generating just enough offense to provide the points the defense makes stand up.
With the two high schools and university in the city combining for a 6-1 record in the early season, it has caused some initial excitement for what's to come.
Only time will tell if the success continues.

Danny P. Smith is sports editor and columnist for the Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Daily News or its staff.

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