Week two of the college-football season was another set of ups and down for our state.
The University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University, Delta State University and Holmes Community College all are 2-0, and Hinds Community College is 1-0 after completing a game for the first time this season. The Eagles had to cancel their first game due to a power outage.
The University of Southern Mississippi and Millsaps College bounced back from week-one losses to be at 1-1, and Alcorn State University lost its second game, also putting the Braves at 1-1.
Other teams have not fared so well thus far. Jackson State University, Mississippi Valley State University and Mississippi College are all still looking to get their first win of the year at 0-2. Belhaven University had the week off and is at 1-0 heading back into action this week.
Hinds jumped out to a 28-16 lead at the half over Itawamba Community College on Thursday, Sept. 7. The Eagles then had to rally for the win after letting the Indians take a 31-28 lead late in the fourth quarter. HCC scored the game-winning touchdown with 32 seconds left on the clock to win 35-31.
Meanwhile last Thursday, Holmes was in a tight battle against Southwest Mississippi Community College in the first half. The Bulldogs led 35-27 at the break before blowing the game wide open in the second half. Holmes outscored Southwest 32-7 in the second half for a 67-34 victory.
Alcorn State stood toe to toe with Florida International University for four quarters on Friday, Sept. 8, but couldn’t pull out a win. The Braves ended the first half tied 7-7 with the Golden Panthers and kept the game tied at 10-10 with a 49-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. FIU scored the game-winning touchdown with just over a minute left, and Alcorn lost 10-17.
On Saturday, Sept. 9, Millsaps dominated Texas Wesleyan University in the first half, leading 26-0 at halftime. Texas Wesleyan outscored the Majors 13-3 in the second half, but they held on for a 29-13 win.
Delta State also got off to a quick start on Saturday in a home game against Chowan University. The Statesmen had a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and maintained that lead at the half. They built it up to a 35-6 lead after three quarters and, in the end, cruised to a 42-13 win.
Closer to home, Mississippi College’s game against Southwest Baptist University on Saturday night went in the exact opposite direction. SBU raced out to a 15-0 lead in the opening quarter, and while MC outscored the Bearcats 6-3 in the second quarter, the Choctaws still trailed 18-6 at the break. They scored only three points in the second half and fell 9-32.
Mississippi Valley State was outgunned for the second week in a row on Saturday, this time against Southern Illinois University. The Delta Devils were down 41-3 at the half and never got back up, ultimately losing 3-55.
That same night, Jackson State lost a heartbreaker against Tennessee State University. JSU fell behind 3-10 by the end of the first quarter before rallying to face a one-point deficit at the half at 9-10. TSU then extended its lead with a 56-yard punt return for a touchdown, which JSU answered with a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Unfortunately, TSU stopped a two-point try that would have tied the game and won the battle of the Tigers 17-15.
Meanwhile on Saturday, Southern Miss ran out to a 21-0 lead against Southern University in the first quarter and never looked back. The Golden Eagles earned their first win of the season 45-0 over the Jaguars.
Slow starts are becoming a habit for the University of Mississippi, and that habit allowed the University of Tennessee-Martin to stay in the game on Saturday. The Rebels had to rally just to take a 17-16 lead into the half. UM finally exploded in the third quarter, outscoring UT-Martin 21-0. The Rebels coasted to a 45-23 win after taking total control in the second half.
Lastly, the Mississippi State and Louisiana Tech University matchup on Saturday saw a little of everything. The game included multiple blocked kicks for both teams, and at one point, Louisiana Tech ended up third-and-goal on its own seven-yard line after a Benny Hill-style fumble pushed the team 87 yards in the wrong direction. MSU ultimately won 57-21.