No. 17 Mississippi State shakes off 1st loss


No. 17 Mississippi State shakes off 1st loss

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) Mississippi State's showdown with top-ranked Alabama didn't go so well for the Bulldogs.

Now coach Dan Mullen is trying to make sure a bad day against the Crimson Tide doesn't turn into a bad month.

``You always define yourself in November,'' Mullen said. ``And we've put ourselves in great position during the month of November. Now this is what separates a good season from a great season and a great season from a championship season.''

The end of October wasn't much fun. Mississippi State's undefeated season ended in a lopsided 38-7 loss to an Alabama team that was better in every facet of the game.

But the No. 17 Bulldogs (7-1, 3-1 SEC) don't have much time to sulk. Mullen says his team must learn from their mistakes and get ready for No. 16 Texas A&M (6-2, 3-2) on Saturday.

Mississippi State's coaches said tape from the Alabama loss revealed a mix of positive and negative news. The good is that the Bulldogs were talented enough to move the ball on offense and make stops on defense when everyone was handling their assignment.

The bad news is there were a bunch of missed assignments.

``We have to be a better football team this week than we were last week,'' Mullen said. ``Throughout the season you have to continually improve, the only way you do that is through how you prepare and how you practice. That comes down to your work ethic on a daily basis.''

The Aggies come into the game with the SEC's most prolific offense, averaging 45.5 points and 542.9 yards per game. They gained 671 yards in last week's 63-21 victory over Auburn and have scored at least 58 points in four out of eight games.

And Texas A&M's offensive scheme is a complete 180 from the Crimson Tide's straight-forward, ball-control approach.

The Bulldogs have to figure out a way to at least slow down Texas A&M's freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel, who averages 277 passing yards per game and leads the SEC with 99.1 rushing yards per game. He threw for two touchdowns and ran for three more in the Auburn win.

Mississippi State blew several defensive assignments against Alabama - especially in the passing game - which was a big reason the Bulldogs fell into a 24-0 halftime hole. If it happens against Texas A&M, it could be another long game.

Mississippi State defensive coordinator Chris Wilson said he's confident the Bulldogs' veteran defense, which is led by linebacker Cameron Lawrence and cornerback Johnthan Banks, will bounce back quickly.

``We're second right now in the league, and we've got a chance to be 8-1 if we go out and play at a higher level and execute at a higher level,'' Wilson said. ``I don't think we put as much into (one loss) as maybe the outside world. We've got to go play better. We've got to go fix our issues. We do that and we'll be ready to go.''

Mississippi State's offense had some good moments against the Tide - like a 97-yard drive in the third quarter. The problem was the drive ended with quarterback Tyler Russell throwing an interception.

The oh-so-close theme was repeated often throughout the night.

The Alabama loss didn't just hurt Mississippi State's ego. The Crimson Tide put several hard hits on Russell and others - like linebacker Benardrick McKinney, offensive tackles Blaine Clausell and Charles Siddoway - missed part of the game due to various injuries.

But Mullen didn't expect any of them to miss the Texas A&M game.

``This time of year everybody is bumped and bruised and everybody has a boot on,'' Mullen said. ``Everybody has tape and ice all over their bodies but that happens in the Southeastern Conference.''


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March Madness 2018: Sweet 16 TV Schedule, Tip times, announcers, how to watch, live stream

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March Madness 2018: Sweet 16 TV Schedule, Tip times, announcers, how to watch, live stream

The first and second rounds of the 2018 NCAA Tournament are in  the books.

We witnessed history, with UMBC becoming the first No. 16 seed in men's tournament history to defeat a No. 1 seed, beating Virginia 74-54.

We saw the Ramblers of Loyola Chicago make a Cinderella run, beating Miami and Tennessee on the final possession.

We saw No. 7 Nevada rally from 22 points down to stun No. 2 Cincinnati.

We saw great games, great finishes and great moments.

But now it's time for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight.

The madness begins again on March 22, with the Sweet 16 taking place Thursday and Friday, with the Elite Eight taking place on Saturday and Sunday.

Here is a complete listing of TV channels, tip times and game locations.




Thursday, March 22

7:07 pm — No. 7 Nevada vs. No. 11 Loyola-Chicago (South/Atlanta, GA), CBS. Announcers: Brian Anderson, Chris Webber, Lisa Byington
7:37 pm — No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 7 Texas A&M (West/Los Angeles, Calif), TBS. Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner, Dana Jacobson
9:37 pm — No. 5 Kentucky vs. No. 9 Kansas State (South/Atlanta, GA), CBS. Announcers: Brian Anderson, Chris Webber, Lisa Byington
10:07 pm — No. 4 Gonzaga vs. No. 9 Florida State (West/Los Angeles, Calif), TBS. Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner, Dana Jacobson

Friday, March 23

7:07 pm — No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 5 Clemson (Midwest/Omaha, NE), TBS. Announcers: Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson
7:37 pm — No. 1 Villanova vs. No. 5 West Virginia (East/Boston, Mass.), CBS. Announcers: Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce
9:37 pm — No. 2 Duke vs. No. 11 Syracuse (Midwest/Omaha, NE), TBS. Announcers: Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson
10:07 pm — No. 2 Purdue vs. No. 3 Texas Tech (East/Boston, Mass.), CBS. Announcers: Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce



Saturday, March 24

Time TBD — Nevada/Loyola-Chicago winner vs. Kentucky/Kansas State winner (South Regional Final/Atlanta, GA), CBS. Announcers: Brian Anderson, Chris Webber, Lisa Byington
Time TBD — Michigan/Texas A&M winner vs. Gonzaga vs. Florida State winner (West Regional Final/Los Angeles, Calif.), CBS. Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner, Dana Jacobson

Sunday, March 25

Time TBD — Kansas/Clemson winner vs. Duke/Syracuse winner  (Midwest Regional Final/Omaha, NE), CBS. Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson
​Time TBD —  Villanova/West Virginia winner vs. Purdue/Texas Tech winner (East Regional Final/Boston, Mass.), CBS. Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce

 WANT MORE COLLEGE HOOPS? Troy Machir is spending all March chatting with some of the biggest names in college basketball. Listen to the March Only Podcast below and be sure to like, rate, share and subscribe on iTunes.

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Pernell McPhee reportedly on visit with Redskins


Pernell McPhee reportedly on visit with Redskins

NFL free agency doesn't care about your brackets. 

While you were watching UMBC, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that Bears linebacker Pernell McPhee is currently on a visit with the Redskins:

Pernell, 29, was drafted in 2011 out of Mississppi State by the Baltimore Ravens. He played there for three years before spending the last two seasons with the Chicago Bears. 

Pernell has 182 career tackles and 31 career sacks.