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2012 FOOTBALL PREVIEW Collegiate Collegiate August 12, 2012 NEW HOME BUILDING STORES Quality Materials Since 1939 Monday - Friday 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Please visit our website at COLUMBUS 1701 Main St.• 328-4451 MACON 105 Green St.• 726-5285 For Construction And Remodeling Needs, Go With The Best! • Quality Lumber We only purchase from select quality mills • Unsurpassed Delivery Half day lead time on most orders, materials covered at jobsite • Experienced Outside Salesmen & Staff Jobs checked daily or as requested • Discount Pricing • Windows, Doors & More Showroom features Ply Gem windows and Peachtree and MGM Industries doors and windows • Internet Access to Your Account Links to product catalogs, ability to price jobs from home or office • Floor to Finish Multiple siding options, fiberglass columns kept in stock, window shutters and treatments available © The Dispatch ............3 .............6 .............9 .............11 .

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Page 1: College Football Preview 2012



August 12, 2012


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Page 2: College Football Preview 2012


Page 3: College Football Preview 2012

By MATTHEW [email protected]

STARKVILLE — TheMississippi State Universityrunning backs don’t want to lis-ten to the preseason talk aboutthe offense becoming more of apassing attack.

The tailbacks in maroon andwhite know what MSU has beenable to do, and they believe theycan continue that trend.

“Mississippi State is basedon running,” MSU redshirtfreshman tailback JoshRobinson said. “We got fourgreat running backs so why notrun the ball?”

In the past three years

under coach Dan Mullen, MSUhas averaged 35 more yardsrushing than passing game.Part of that discrepancy can beattributed to a lack of experi-enced receivers and a truepocket quarterback.

“Our philosophy won’tchange, but you’ll see differ-ences in this year’s team utiliz-ing Tyler (Russell’s) passingabilities,” Mullen said. “Youmight see more five widereceivers this year (and) wemight lean more or use 30 per-cent more of the offense thatwe haven’t used as much thelast couple of years.”

The question entering fallcamp and the team’s season

opener against Jackson Stateon Sept. 1 is who will replacethe production of tailback VickBallard, the school’s single-sea-son record holder for touch-downs, who is in training campwith the NFL’s IndianapolisColts.

In 2006, MSU had a similarproblem under coach SylvesterCroom. At that time, all-timeleading rusher JeriousNorwood graduated. Morethan 3,900 rushing yards later,Anthony Dixon made that prob-lem seem trivial at best as herumbled to 3,994 yards.

After riding Dixon through a5-7 first season in Starkville,


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Marcus Green and the Mississippi StateUniversity football team won their thirdconsecutive Egg Bowl game last season.The victory helped MSU become bowl eli-gible and was the final game at theUniversity of Miss for coach Houston Nutt.

FOOTBALL 2012A publication of


Columbus, MS 39703(662) 328-2424

Editor and PublisherBirney Imes

SportsAdam Minichino

Matt StevensScott Walters

Cover DesignStacy Clark

PhotographersLuisa PorterSam Gause

Graphic ArtistsJackie Taylor

Ernest Rogers

ProductionTina Perry

Anne Murphy



August 12, 2012


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Perkins leads deep, versatile group that is confident it can do job

Head CoachDan Mullen

Assistant Coaches

n Geoff Collins - Co-Defensive


n John Hevesy - Offensive Line /

Running Game Coordinator

n Tony Hughes - Safeties /

Recruiting Coordinator

n Greg Knox - Running Backs

n Les Koenning - Offensive

Coordinator / Quarterbacks

n Angelo Mirando - Wide Receivers

n Scott Sallach - Tight Ends

n Melvin Smith - Cornerbacks /


n Chris Wilson - Co-Defensive

Coordinator / Defensive Line

n Jon Clark - Assistant AD / Football


n Matt Balis - Head Strength Coach

n Rockey Felker

Director of Player Personnel /

High School Relations

Coaching Staf f

Radio Affiliates


SCORING 329 256

Points Per Game 25.3 19.7


Rushing 123 118

Passing 101 123

Penalty 17 16


Yards gained rushing 2649 2295

Yards lost rushing 370 300

Rushing Attempts 513 536

Average Per Rush 4.4 3.7

Average Per Game 175.3 153.5

TDs Rushing 19 15


Comp-Att-Int 198-349-13 280-434-12

Average Per Pass 6.8 5.9

Average Per Catch 11.9 9.2

Average Per Game 181.8 197.2

TDs Passing 19 12


Total Plays 862 970

Average Per Play 5.4 4.7

Average Per Game 357.2 350.6

KICK RETURNS: 42-779 56-1120

PUNT RETURNS: 28-311 24-119

INT RETURNS: 12-186 13-103




FUMBLES-LOST 21-7 25-8

PENALTIES-Yards 71-567 81-698

Average Per Game 43.6 53.7

PUNTS-Yards 71-2970 72-3053

Average Per Punt 41.8 42.4

Net punt average 37.9 36.4

TIME OF POSS/Game 26:16 33:38

3RD-DOWN Conversions 72/186 77/211

3rd-Down Pct 39% 36%

4TH-DOWN Conversions 9/18 13/25

4th-Down Pct 50% 52%

SACKS BY-Yards 27-165 25-



TDs SCORED 42 28

FIELD GOALS-ATT 12-19 20-28


Red Zone Scores (34-40) 85% (34-46) 74%

RED-ZONE TDs (22-40) 55% (21-46) 46%

PAT-ATTEMPTS (39-40) 98% (28-28) 100%

ATTENDANCE 335695 356190

Gmd/Avg Per Gm 6/55949 6/59365

Neutral Site Games 1/55208


2011 Team Statistics

City Station FrequencyAberdeen WWZQ-AM 1240Amory WAMY-AM 1580Batesville WBLE-FM 100.5Columbia WCJU-FM 104.9Corinth WKCU-AM 1350Ferriday, La. KWTG-FM 104.7French Camp WFCA-FM 107.9Greenville WDMS-FM 100.7Greenwood/Indianola WTCD-FM 96.9Grenada WOHT-FM 92.3Hattiesburg WMXI-FM 98.1Jackson WZNO-FM 105.9Lucedale WRBE-FM 106.9Memphis, Tenn. KQPN-AM 730Meridian WMOX-AM 1010Monticello WRQO-FM 102.1Philadelphia WWSL-FM 102.3Tupelo WXWX-FM 96.3Vicksburg WVBG-FM 105.5Waynesboro WABO-AM 990West Point WKBB-FM 100.9Winona WONA-FM 95.1Yazoo City WBYP-FM*/WELZ-AM 107.1/1460NOTE: All stations above will carry Mississippi State’s 2012 football games and DawgTalk, MSU coach Dan Mullen’s weekly call-in show. Fanscan call into the show by dialing 866-998-4893.HailStateTV (Audio/Video Streaming): Audio (live) and video (on-demand)streamed broadcasts of MSU football games are available exclusively throughHailStateTV, MSU's premium multimedia service. For more information, consultHailStateTV headquarters.

2012 ScheduleSept. 1 JACKSON

STATESept. 8 AUBURNSept. 15 TroySept. 22 SOUTH

ALABAMAOct. 6 KentuckyOct. 13 TENNESSEEOct. 20 MIDDLE

TENNESSEEOct. 27 AlabamaNov. 3 TEXAS A&MNov. 10 At LSUNov. 17 ARKANSASNov. 24 Ole Miss


n The Dispatch would like to thank themedia relations and sports informationdepartments at Mississippi StateUniversity, East Mississippi CommunityCollege, Itawamba C.C., the University ofMississippi, and the University ofAlabama for their help in gathering all ofthe information in this year’s section.

n A special thanks goes out to StacyClark for designing several covers, including the one that was selected forthis year.

n Fans can follow Matt Stevens cover-age of MSU at and onhis blog, which you also can access on thewebsite. You can also stay abreast of thelatest MSU news by following him onTwitter at: @matthewcstevens.

n The Dispatch encourages all fans tocall us with their comments and ques-tions. You can reach us at 662-327-1297 ore-mail information [email protected].

Team PageMississippi State University . . . . . . . .3-5East Mississippi Community College .6Itawamba C.C. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7University of Mississippi . . . . . . . . .9-10University of Alabama . . . . . . . . . . .11-12Southeastern Conference on TV .13, 15SEC Preview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

THANKS / ABOUT US2011 Results

Sept. 1 W, 59-14 At Memphis

Sept. 10 L, 41-34 At Auburn

Sept. 15 L, 19-6 LSUSept. 24 W, 26-20 OT

LA. TECHOct. 1 L, 24-10

At GeorgiaOct. 8 W, 21-3 UABOct. 15 L, 14-12

S. CAROLINAOct. 29 W, 28-16

At KentuckyNov. 5 W, 55-7

TENN.-MARTINNov. 12 L, 24-7

ALABAMANov. 19 L, 44-17

At ArkansasNov. 26 W, 31-3

OLE MISSDec. 30 W, 23-17


LaDarius Perkins isthe leading candidateto replace VickBallard and keep theMississippi StateUniversity runninggame moving forward. Last season,Perkins was secondon the team with 422rushing yards. Healso had two touchdowns and averaged 4.9 yardsper carry. Those numbers pale in comparison to whatBallard, who led theway with 1,189 rushing yards and 10touchdowns. Ballardhad more than doublethe number of carriesthan Perkins (193-87).Quarterback ChrisRelf was second onthe team in rushes(123). Nick Griffin,Josh Robinson, andDerek Milton also willtry to work into thebackfield rotation.

Dispatch File Photo

MSU will look to replace Ballard

Page 4: College Football Preview 2012

BY MATTHEW [email protected]

STARKVILLE —Admittedly, JohnthanBanks does a lot of talkingon the football field.

Banks polished his abil-ity to talk trash and tobrag from somebody hecalls “one of the best inthe business”: former

Mississippi StateUniversity standout defen-sive back Fred Smoot.

This season, Banks willhave to get used to numer-ous people talking abouthim in his final season atMSU.

“I think the one guy peo-ple are talking about interms of NFL is John(Banks), and rightfully so,”MSU coach Dan Mullensaid. “That doesn’t meanwe don’t have multiple NFLguys on this roster, butJohn has seen his profile goup with the work he’s put inbefore this year has evenstarted.”

The senior defensiveback from a high school— East Webster High in

Maben — one can’t findon a standardized GPSdevice is getting loads of

attention after being namedto five national award watchlists and earning All-Southeastern Conferencefirst team honors from atleast six major publications.

“It’s so hard not to payattention to the hypebecause we all want thatattention at some point inour lives. Don’t let any-body tell you they

don’t,” Banks said. “Butthis stuff can really makeyou humble real quick if itcomes around. I just try tobe myself and everythingwill be fine. As long as Itry to keep doing thethings that got me to thisposition on the team,everything else will workout fine.”

Banks’ goals have noth-ing to do with the pastbecause he can point to

the moment he startedmapping out MSU’s desti-nation for 2012. It’s a placethe Bulldogs have neverbeen under Mullen: theGeorgia Dome.

“It’s my job to be one ofthe captains and lead thisteam to Atlanta, and Iknew that the minute Idecided to come back formy senior season,” Bankssaid. “I can’t think of a bet-ter way for my final seasonto end but to be one of thepremiere teams in thecountry, and that hasnothing to do with myindividual preseasongarbage.”

Banks already has cre-ated several memories atDavis Wade Stadium in histhree seasons at defensive



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AP FileMississippi State University’s Johnthan Banks deflects a pass intended for the University of Michigan’s Junior Hemingway in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 1, 2011, in Jacksonville, Fla.

Banks ready for national spotlight

Dispatch File PhotoMississippi StateUniversity’s JohnthanBanks has been named tothe watch lists for thePaul Hornung Award, theBronko Nagurski Trophy,the Bednarik Award, theJim Thorpe Award, and theLott IMPACT Trophy.Banks also has earned preseason All-Southeastern Conferencehonors from four groups forhis special teams work. See BANKS, 5

Page 5: College Football Preview 2012

back for MSU. His 12career interceptions aretied for second in schoolhistory four behind WaltHarris.

“I’m not going to liebecause I’m really lookingforward to breaking thatrecord, and if I don’t, I’mgoing to be pretty disap-pointed,” Banks said. “Iwould hope I can get onepick and be behind a guythat played somethingclose to 15 seasons in theNFL. That wouldn’t be toobad.”

If Banks returns one ofthose interceptions for atouchdown, something hehas had a knack for doing,he’ll break the schoolcareer record for a defen-sive player with four.

“The excitement forJohn is the decision hemade shows a lot of matu-rity on his part,” MSUdefensive coordinatorChris Wilson said. “Whathappens now is he’ll get anopportunity to be a possi-ble All-American candi-date on a solid footballteam, and those are justsome of the thing thatmake college footballgreat.”

After moving from safe-ty to cornerback two yearsago, Banks could see lessplaying time because ofthe experienced depth theBulldogs will have in thesecondary this season.

“I remember two yearsago against Arkansas inStarkville, I played over 90plays in hat game and Iwas exhausted,” saidBanks, who had nine tack-les and a forced fumble inthat game. “If I’m down to40-45 plays per gamewhere I’m fresh and rotat-ing with myself, (Corey)Broomfield, and (Darius)Slay, then wow, we couldbe the best secondary in

the country.”MSU coaches are tin-

kering with playingBroomfield, a senior, atsafety to get Banks,Broomfield, and formerItawamba CommunityCollege transfer Slay onthe field together for amajority of plays.

“You want your bestcorner covering their bestplayer,” Wilson said, “sohe’s going to be movedwherever he is needed.The best guy is going tofollow the best (offensive)guy, so when people startthinking it’s aboutscheme, it’s about situa-tions and matchup.”

Banks returned for hissenior season at MSUinstead of declaring for theNFL draft because ofKeidan, his 2-year-old son.Banks said he wanted tospend more time withKeidan, referred to mostlyas K.J., his family, and hisgirlfriend, and to spendquality time as a newfather.

“People understand Iwant to play in the NFL,but the money or draftstuff had nothing to do

with my decision to stayhere at Mississippi State,”Banks said. “My little boyand being with him asmuch as possible hadeverything to do whatthat. If I’m drafted to ateam, I’d have to moveaway from my family, myson, my girlfriend, and myfootball family here. Thatwasn’t something I wantedto have happen yet.”

That time may comesoon, though, which ispart of the reason Banksconsults daily with Smoot.It doesn’t matter that the6-foot-3 Banks already haspassed Smoot on theBulldogs’ career intercep-tions list.

“If I texted Fred rightnow, he’d call me backalmost immediately,”Banks said. “Having some-body like that in my life asa tutor has really helpedme become a better foot-ball player and a betterman.

“Fred is like one of usnow, and he ain’t going tosugarcoat anything, andhe’ll tell you if you workon something now, so Iappreciate him for havingthat passion.”

The art of trash talkingwas one thing Banks fine-tuned after watchingSmoot. Last weekend atpractice, fans watchedBanks get in the eyes ofmultiple freshmen in themorning session of MSU’sworkout to motivate themhis way.

“You guys know Ialready know how to dothat on my own,” Bankssaid. “Fred didn’t have to,and ain’t nothing I couldreally learn from him interms of smack talking.I’m already pretty good atthat, if I don’t say somyself.”

position to a competitionthat attracted Ballard, aMississippi Gulf CoastCommunity College trans-fer, to Starkville.

This season, MSU hasa new cast of characters,a group the coaches feelis deeper and more versa-tile to take Ballard’splace.

“We all feel like we gota stable (of backs) in thatmeeting room thatnobody else has in thecountry,” Robinson said.“We got four great run-ning backs we can putinto any situation andthey got different skillsfor a different situation.”

Robinson, a power 5-foot-9 option fromFranklinton, La., hasemerged as a candidateto get some of Ballard’scarries. Two years ago,he helped his high schoolwin a Class 4A statechampionship and wasnamed to the LouisianaSports WritersAssociation first-team.

When the 215-poundtailback arrived in thesummer before that finalhigh school season, hewas timed at 4.3 secondsin the 40-yard dash.

“The competition isreally heavy now becauseany of those four tail-backs could be a starterbased on how they do out(on the field),” MSU run-ning backs coach GregKnox said. “They all havethe abilities to make bigplays.”

The leader is juniorLaDarius Perkins, but thespeed option in past yearshas yet to show he canhandle carrying the ball15 to 20 times a game atthe Division I level.

Perkins, who has beenin the same system withthe same position coachfor the past three sea-sons, has tended to bewhat Knox refers as a“coach on the field.” Thatexperience will be crucialwith group behind himthat has a total of 16career carries.

“He’s just so muchsmarter,” Knox said. “Notonly is he smarter, he(also) has conditionedhimself to get through atough practice.”

In the only gamePerkins was MSU’s go-toback, he had 18 carriesfor 140 yards and a touch-down against theUniversity of Alabama atBirmingham two yearsago in Starkville.

“The steps we need totake to get to Atlanta arehappening for us slowlyevery single day,”Perkins said. “I feel I cantake control of this groupand let them know whatthey’re supposed to bedoing.”

Despite being a third-year player, Perkins hasbeen willing to learn fromthe other backs. He isworking with Robinson insplit-squad practiceswhere both players shareinsights about their posi-tion.

“We’re all learning andhelping each other,”Robinson said. “Forexample, I got a littlemore power than Perkinsand I help him on powermoves, while he helps meon quickness moves.That’s not my strength.”

Knox talked last week-end about the backs MSUfans could see this seasonas a mathematical equa-tion that will involve mul-tiple options and not justone player racking up thenumbers as in past years.

“There’s some scienceto what we do in thesense scheme-wise andwho fits what,” Knox said.“We know our strengthbecause Josh and Perk

have really good hands,so we know how to usethem in the run and passgame.”

The final option issophomore Nick Griffin.After he arrived on cam-pus looking the partphysically to be MSU’snext standout tailback,the 225-pounder has beenhampered by issuesstemming from a tornanterior cruciate liga-ment he suffered in hisfirst spring practice near-ly two years ago. WhileGrif fin recovered fromthe practice injury quick-er than most do fromsuch a devastating kneeinjury, the former three-star recruit out of NewAugusta didn’t seem tohave the speed to runaway from tacklers heshowed early in his firstseason.

“For guys like Nick,confidence in whatthey’re doing and whatthey don’t need to bethinking about is so criti-cal when coming of finjuries like that,” Mullensaid. “We’ll have to see ifthat continues to growthroughout this camp andinto the season.”

Griffin averaged near-ly 7 yards per carry lastseason in mop-up dutyagainst UAB, theUniversity of Tennessee-Martin, the University of

Alabama, theUniversity of Arkansas,and the University ofMississippi.

Fans also shouldn’toverlook redshirt fresh-man Derrick Milton. Theformer Hargrave MilitaryAcademy product turneddown of fers from OleMiss, the University ofTennessee, theUniversity of NorthCarolina, and OklahomaState University to fightfor playing time this sea-son in Starkville.

“It’s more experiencedguys now,” Knox said.“Same situation yes (as inpast years), but the guysin that room are so muchmore experienced andsmarter about what we’redoing. They are doing agood job of picking upeverything and bringingit to the field.”


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Gms Att. Yds. Avg. TDs Long Av/GmVick Ballard 13 193 1,189 6.2 10 72 91.5Ladarius Perkins 13 87 422 4.9 2 40 32.5Chris Relf 11 123 375 3.0 2 27 34.1Nick Griffin 5 16 108 6.8 1 34 21.6Jameon Lewis 13 11 86 7.8 1 23 6.6Tyler Russell 9 33 45 1.4 1 26 5.0Robert Elliott 13 12 37 3.1 0 17 2.8Chad Bumphis 13 9 28 3.1 0 17 2.2Dylan Favre 9 12 8 0.7 2 12 0.9Adrian Marcus 12 2 7 3.5 0 6 0.6Robert Johnson 7 2 6 3.0 0 7 0.9Michael Carr 9 1 5 5.0 0 5 0.6Blaine Causell 11 0 5 0.0 0 0 0.5Brandon Heavens 13 2 3 1.5 0 6 0.2W. Shumpert 8 2 -1 -0.5 0 0 -0.1B. Swedenburg 13 1 -9 -9.0 0 0 -0.7Total 13 513 2,279 4.4 19 72 175.3

“He’ll get an opportunity to be anAll-American candidate on a solidfootball team, andthose are just some ofthe things that make college footballgreat.”

Mississippi State defensive coordinator

Chris Wilson


Perkins Griffin

Milton Robinson

RunningContinued from Page 3

“The steps we need totake to get to Atlantaare happening for usslowly every singleday. I feel I can takecontrol of this groupand let them knowwhat they’re supposed to bedoing.”

Mississippi StateUniversity running back

LaDarius Perkins

BanksContinued from Page 4

Page 6: College Football Preview 2012

Editor’s Note: Thedefending national cham-pion East MississippiCommunity College foot-ball program will kick offpractice today and defenseof its 2011 NJCAA title.The Dispatch will featureseveral of the state collegeteams this week leading upto Sunday and the releaseof the annual prep and col-lege football section.

BY SCOTT [email protected]

East MississippiCommunity College foot-ball coach BuddyStephens is preparing forhis fifth season with theLions.

A 22-year coaching vet-eran, Stephens has guidedEMCC to unprecedentedheights. Under Stephens,EMCC has posted a 36-8record, earned fourstraight playoff appear-ances and the school’sfirst two state champi-onships, and won twobowl games, including itsfirst national champi-onship.

A native of Huntsville,Ala., Stephens holdsdegrees from Delta StateUniversity and the formerNortheast LouisianaUniversity (now known asthe University ofLouisiana at Monroe).

This season, EMCCbegins the season rankedNo. 1 in the nation. Theseason opener is Aug. 30

against Pearl RiverCommunity College atSullivan-Windham Field inScooba.

Q: How have summerworkouts progressed? Isthe team ready for its titledefense?

A: The summer isalways difficult because itis a lot of work. To theguys’ credit, they havecome in every day and

worked hard on running,preparing your body forwhat is about to come. Wehave a grueling season.You play nine physicalgames in a row before theplayoffs. The league isrough. You have a have aworkman-type attitudeabout everything you do,including summer work-outs.

We work hard everyday, but as coaches, we

don’t have to motivate.The motivation is on thewall. We have a reminderof how many days it isuntil the first game. InJune and July, we don’thave time to think about alot more than work andgetting in shape. Thebiggest thing in the sum-mer months is academics.It is a chance for somekids to catch up and forothers to get ahead in theclassroom.

Q: What do you thinkthe 2012 Lions will looklike?

A: Our identity thisyear will be speed onoffense and on defense,too. We have a lot of bigguys who can run. We willbe faster than we were lastyear. (Success) dependson how our offensive anddefensive lines comealong (and) how welleverybody grasps theschemes.

Team chemistry is atremendous thing. It iseven more importantsince we have a new set ofplayers more often thansenior colleges. Our sea-son will depend on howhard we work on ourscheme. We recruit talent.If you can play for us, youare very talented. It iswhether or not you fit intoour scheme characterwise.

Q: There are tworanked South Divisionteams (Mississippi Gulf

Coast C.C. and HindsC.C.) and neither is onyour schedule. Are we toassume you guys will missplaying Gulf Coastbecause it has turned intoquite a rivalry?

A: No matter who youplay in our league, it istough. Pearl River is verygood. Southwest had theoffensive player of theyear in the South Divisionlast year. East Central isour closest game, in rela-tion to how far they arefrom our campus. Eventhough we don’t playevery year, it’s a hugerivalry situation.

But yes, there will be alot of newness to theschedule. If you don’tcome ready to play, youcan get your backsidewhipped pretty good. Wewill prepare the same waywe did last year becausethat works. You prepareand do all you can.

Q: Now that one fullrecruiting season haspassed with the new rulesin place (elimination ofprotected players for eachjunior college in theschool’s home recruitingarea), have warmed up tothe changes?

A: I still don’t like it. Wehave to examine where weare and we have to dowhat is best for the entireleague, not just a fewschools. Even if we areone of the schools with an



2011 ResultsSept. 1 W, 34-30


Sept. 8 W, 20-17 At Hinds

Sept. 15 W, 45-42 At Northwest Mississippi

Sept. 22 W, 48-7 ITAWAMBA

Sept. 29 W, 56-6 COAHOMA

Oct. 8 W, 63-35 At Northeast

Oct. 15 W, 41-17 At Pearl River


Oct. 27 W, 56-35 At Holmes

Nov. 5 W, 55-24 HINDS


Dec. 3 W, 55-47 At Arizona Western


2012 ScheduleAug. 30 PEARL RIVER,

7 p.m.Sept. 6 At East

Central, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 13 At SouthwestMississippi, 7 p.m.


Sept. 27 At Coahoma, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 6 HOLMES, 2 p.m.

Oct. 11 At NortheastMississippi, 7 p.m.


Oct. 27 At Itawamba, 4 p.m.

See EMCC, 15

INSIDE EMCCn COLLEGE WEBSITE:www.eastms.edun RADIO: WFCA-FM (107.9)n INTERNET: school hopes to launcha new athletic website — —in time for the first footballgame of the season.

Head CoachBuddy Stephens

Assistant Coaches / Support Staff

n William Jones - Associate HeadCoach / Defensive Coordinator /Linebackersn Marcus Wood - OffensiveCoordinator / Wide Receiversn Clifton Collins - Defensive Backsn Scott Gasper - Quarterbacksn Jimmy Brumbaugh - DefensiveLinen Heath Thomas - Running Backsn D.J. Looney - Assistant to coachStephens / Offensive Linen Benjamin Luther - DefensiveGraduate Assistant n Cade Wilkerson - DefensiveGraduate Assistant

Coaching Staf f

LOCAL FL AVORn The East MississippiCommunity College football team has beenpacked with local playersthe past few years. Thisyear, former StarkvilleHigh standouts JarrodAtterberry, JaquezJohnson, D.J. Jordan, andBilly Shed, former WestPoint High standout JustinCox, and former New HopeHigh standout FrankRichardson Jr. will look tomake their marks.The Dispatch will talk tosome of the local playersMonday, Aug. 20, at theteam’s annual media dayin Scooba.

Atterberry Cox

Johnson Jordan

Richardson Jr. Shed

Dispatch File PhotoEast Mississippi Community College head football coach Buddy Stephens, left, and EMCC President Dr. Rick Young pose for photos afterthe football team beat Arizona Western College 55-47 to win the El Toro Bowl and earn the NJCAA title at Veterans Memorial Stadium inYuma, Ariz.

Stephens focused on keeping EMCC No. 1

Playmakers will lead Lions

Dispatch File PhotosThe East Mississippi Community College football team will look to running back Rodriguez Moore, left, and defensive back Justin Cox, ofWest Point to help lead the Lions back to the national title game. The Dispatch will feature both players in the coming weeks as EMCCprepares for the 2012 season.

East Mississippi Community College Athletic Media RelationsBuddy Stephens continues to lead the EastMississippi Community College football program tofirsts. Coming off the team’s first national title, theLions enter the 2012 season ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll for the first time.

Page 7: College Football Preview 2012

From Special Reports

The ItawambaCommunity College footballteam signed 42 players inFebruary, but third-yearcoach Jon Williams and hisstaff feels they have puttogether a good group ofplayers whose talents willcomplement each otheronce the season begins.

“We’ve been limited inwhat we (can do) with off-season workouts, but theone thing that hasimpressed me the most isthe team chemistry,” saidWilliams, whose team wasranked No. 27 in the nationin the Dirty30 Preseason poll. “Thisgroup of guys like to workand feed off each other’senergy. Hopefully that ener-gy will carry over and con-tinue to build once we areable to have full practices.”

Jason McManus wasannounced as the Indians’new offensive coordinatorin January, and Williamsfeels his vast collegiateexperience will prove to bevital in the team’s early suc-cess.

“Coach McManusbrings a lot of experience tothe offensive side of theball,” said Williams, whoalso coaches the runningbacks. “We have a shortamount of time to put in ouroffense and that’s where hiscoaching experience paysoff because the playersknow the type of success hehas had in the past and areexcited to in his system.”

A large part of the offen-sive success will feed off theoffensive line. Williamshired another seasoned vet-eran, Chris Jirgens, to takeon the task of building analmost brand new line.

“Coach Jirgens is yourideal offensive line coach,”Williams said. “He is oldschool and you need thattype of toughness in offen-sive linemen.”

Defensively, the Indiansclosed the season strong,

but much like the offense,defensive coordinator SeanCannon hopes early seasonsuccess will lead to an evenstronger close to the sea-son.

“Last year, we gotknocked back on our heelsearly in the season and ittook us a couple of gamesto find the confidence weneeded to recover from theslow start,” Cannon said ofthe team’s 4-5 finish. “Onthis level, you can’t affordto have a slow start and itwill be real important for usto have some success earlyto get some of theseyounger guys the confi-dence to know they are justas good as the guy in frontof them.”

Defensive backs coachTyrone Fox and defensiveline coach Ray Williamsreturn as part of the coach-ing staff.

“Having those two guysback is a big bonus,”Cannon said. “We were ableto learn a lot during last sea-son and work on what wewanted to do for this yearduring the offseason.Having a full year togetheras a complete staff has real-ly helped us as coaches andhopefully that will show onthe football field.”

Some coaches may lookat a roster of new faces andfreshman filled with uncer-tainty, but Williams sees itas an opportunity.

“Having a roster filledwith new faces means thereis going to be a lot of hungryguys fighting for startingroles and playing time,”Williams said. “Anytime youhave that type of competi-tion it can only make youbetter as a team.”



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2012 ScheduleAug. 30 At East

Central, 6:30 p.m.


Sept. 13 At Mississippi Delta, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 20 HOLMES, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27 At Northwest Mississippi, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 4 COPIAH-LINCOLN, 7 p.m.

Oct. 11 COAHOMA, 7 p.m.

Oct. 20 At Northeast Mississippi, 3 p.m.

Oct. 27 EAST MISSISSIPPI, 4 p.m.


2011 ResultsSept. 1 L, 44-24 HindsSept. 8 L, 34-8 Pearl

RiverSept. 15 L, 24-17 East

CentralSept. 22 L, 48-7 East

MississippiOct. 1 W, 30-0

Mississippi Delta

Oct. 8 W, 30-27 Coahoma

Oct. 13 W, 42-27 Holmes

Oct. 20 W, 28-18 Northeast

Oct. 27 L, 45-7 Northwest

LOCAL FL AVORn The ItawambaCommunity College football team has a tradition of getting someof the top local players.This year, former AberdeenHigh School standoutsRashad Pargo, BrandonSmith, and Fred Ward, former Starkville HighSchool standouts StanleyChilds and Kelvin Young,and former NoxubeeCounty High School standout Ladarrell Huntwill represent the area. The Dispatch will talk tothem about the 2012 season later this weekafter the team’s annualmedia day in Fulton.


Childs Hunt

Pargo Smith

Ward Young

Head CoachJon Williams

Assistant Coaches / Support Staff

n Sean Cannon - Assistant Headcoach / Defensive Coordinatorn Ray Williams - Defensive Linen Tyrone Fox - Defensive Backsn Chris Jirgens - Offensive Linen Jason McManus - OffensiveCoordinatorn Cody Bonds - Video Coordinator /Equipment Manager

Coaching Staf f

Projections by the NJCAANorth Division

East MississippiNorthwestItawambaNortheastHolmesCoahomaMississippi Delta

South DivisionGulf CoastHindsJones CountyPearl RiverCopiah-LincolnSouthwestEast Central

Projected MACJCStandings

NJCAA Preseason Top 201. East Mississippi2. Butler (Kansas)3. Arizona Western4. Mississippi Gulf Coast5. Blinn College6. Hinds C.C.7. Trinty Valley8. Iowa Western9. Snow College10. Hutchinson11. Northwest Mississippi12. Navarro College13. Eastern Arizona College14. Dean College15. New Mexico Military Institute16. Tyler Junior College17. Coffeyville18. Iowa Central19. Rochester Community andTechnical College20. Nassau

ICC wants to buildon team chemistry

Page 8: College Football Preview 2012
Page 9: College Football Preview 2012

skills and play-making abil-ities,” Freeze said. “Thechallenge is to put eachplayer in the best situationto showcase their skillsset. The quarterback com-petition will be intense, butwe will see a lot of each ofthem in the fall.”

The Rebels return eightstarters on offense, andhave plenty of experienceat quarterback. Enteringthe fall, former EastMississippi CommunityCollege All-American BoWallace and BarryBrunetti will battle for thestarting nod. The favoritemight be Wallace, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound transfer, whothrew for 4,604 yards and53 touchdowns last seasonand helped the Lions winthe NJCAA national title.Wallace also was namedthe National JUCO Playerof the Year in 2011.

Freeze and his staffhave lauded Wallace, whoparticipated in springdrills, for his naturalinstincts and skills.

Junior Barry Brunetti, a

BY KIRK DOWNSSpecial to The Dispatch

HOOVER, Ala. — TheUniversity of Mississippi has a sea-son to forget in 2011.

Ole Miss ranked last in theSoutheastern Conference in rushingdefense, giving up almost 225 yardsper game and 5.4 yards per carry.With the SEC packed with talentedrunning backs, a team’s defense has tocontrol the line to help give the team achance to have a successful season.

New coach Hugh Freeze hopesto work with new defensive coordi-nator Dave Wommack to overhaulthe defense. Wommack is installinga 4-2-5 defense that will rely on thefront to generate pressure on the

quarterback. “The (4-2-5) has the potential to

do great things,” said Ole Miss jun-ior defensive back Charles Sawyersaid, who was injured earlier thisweek and is out for the season.“Instead of just being like robots, we

have to move.”Sawyer feels like the new attitude

established by the coaching staff inthe offseason will pay dividends.

“The attitude has changed a lot onthe team,” Sawyer said. “We haveguys actually ready to practice. Theyare ready to go to weights, ready togo to 7 on 7. That changes a lot. Thisteam has come together. It takeseffort every morning to get up and goto workouts, and that has changed.”

Wommack is expected to rotatethree or four players in the interiorline. At nose tackle, 6-foot-2, 326-pound senior Gilbert Pena will clogup the middle. He was primarily abackup last season, but the Rebels

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“The (4-2-5) has the potentialto go great things. Instead ofjust being like robots, wehave to move.”

Junior defensive back CharlesSawyer, who was injured earlier

this week and is out for the season




Dispatch File PhotoMike Marry led the University of Mississippi football team in solo tackles (46),total tackles (81), and tied for the team lead with five tackles for loss. The 6-foot-2, 248-pound junior linebacker from Clearwater, Fla., will try to help thedefense improve on its showing last season when it was last in the SoutheasernConference in total defense (399.2 yards per game).

PASSING PL ANn Former Noxubee CountyHigh School Vince Sanderssounded excited at theUniversity of Mississippifootball team’s media daywhen he said, “The ball isgoing to be in the air.”New coach Hugh Freezeand co-offensive coordinators Matt Lukeand Dan Werner figure tohave a lot of options, withquarterbacks Bo Wallaceand Barry Brunetti, running backs Jeff Scott,Nick Parker, and RandallMackey, and receivers likeSanders, Ja-Mes Logan,Donte Moncrief, CollinsMoore, and TobiasSingleton, among others.

Freeze Luke

Werner Scott

McGriff Wommack

Grant Pena

REVERSINGFORTUNESn New co-defensive coordinators Wesley McGriffand Dave Wommack will tryto transform a defense thatallowed 385 points last season — the worst in theSoutheastern Conference —en route to a 2-10 finish.The coaches will look tosenior defensive tacklesUriah Grant and GilbertPena to turn things aroundat the point of attack. OleMiss was last in the SEC —112th in the NCAA — inrushing defense (224.9yards per game) in 2011.The Rebels also were lastin the league in sacks (13).

Rebels want to turn tide on defense

BY KIRK DOWNSSpecial to The Dispatch

HOOVER, Ala. — Anew era for the Universityof Mississippi football pro-gram will begin Sept. 1when coach Hugh Freezedebuts against theUniversity of CentralArkansas at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

The Rebels havebrought in Freeze to revi-talize the offense and tobreathe new life into a fanbase disappointed by back-to-back losing seasons.While Freeze went 30-7 inthree seasons as headcoach at Arkansas StateUniversity, the challengewill be greater in theSoutheastern Conference,where Rebels have lost 14straight league games. Thefirst challenge involvedcreating a new attitude andcompetitive spirit.

“Everything in the sum-mer workouts went well,”Ole Miss junior widereceiver Donte Moncriefsaid. “The attitude haschanged a whole lot.Everybody is listening and

Freeze hopes new offense will produce results

University of Mississippi Athletic Media RelationsEast Mississippi Community College transfer Bo Wallace is in a battle with BarryBrunetti for the starting quarterback job this season at the University ofMississippi. Wallace led EMCC to its first national title last season.

not trying to be their ownplayer. I think the biggestdifference is in attitudeand being more of ateam.”

Points came at a premi-

um in 2011, as the Rebelsranked 11thin the SEC inscoring offense, averaging16.1 points per game. OleMiss will try to changethat by moving from a tra-

ditional run-first offense toa wide-open spread.

“We have questions atthe quarterback position,but we have some playerswith really good athletic

Page 10: College Football Preview 2012

line,” Moncrief said.“They have workedextremely hard during theoffseason. It is all aboutmind-set and making thecommitment to workharder, play harder.”

In a receiving corpsthat returns only two play-ers who caught 20 or moreballs last season, Moncriefwill be expected to be aleader, on and off the field.A sophomore fromRaleigh, Moncrief earnedFreshman All-Americahonors after making 31catches for 454 yards andfour touchdowns. His totalcatches and yards wereOle Miss freshmanrecords.

Junior speedster, Ja-Mes Logan, who had 20catches without a touch-down last season, also isexpected to be a primarytarget in the new up-tempo spread offense.Logan received the EliManning Award, which isgiven to the OutstandingOffensive Player in thespring.

Collins Moore, whosaw plenty of action in hisfirst season, is expected tostart as the third receiver.After starting six games asthe field general last sea-son, Randall Mackey willtransition to another posi-tion, possibly runningback, and he likely will

play all over the field.Freeze will try to use hisspeed and athleticism tobreak down defenses.

Former NoxubeeCounty High School stand-out Vince Sanders shouldsee more playing time,while Ferbia Allen andJamal Mosley will split timeat tight end. Allen hasproven to be a reliableblocker. Mosley, a 6-4, 260-pound transfer fromOklahoma State University,is suspended indefinitelyand is unlikely to play

Named to the presea-son USA Today All-SEC

first team, Jeff Scott entersthe season as the team'sprimary running back fora team that ranked 10thinthe SEC in rushingoffense in 2011. The 5-7,175-pound Scott had 529yards and six touchdownsin 10 games last season. Inaddition to Mackey, DevinThomas and sophomoreTobias Singleton will com-pete for playing time.Singleton is the prototypi-cal “scat” back with speedand great agility. He ledthe team in kickoffreturns last season, aver-aging 24 yards per return.

THE DISPATCH • www.cdispatch.com10 SUNDAY, AUGUST 12, 2012



Points Per Game 16.1 32.1 FIRST DOWNS 186 248

Rushing 97 124 Passing 79 105 Penalty 10 19

RUSHING YARDAGE 1555 2699 Yards gained rushing 2088 2984 Yards lost rushing 533 285 Rushing Attempts 460 500 Average Per Rush 3.4 5.4 Average Per Game 129.6 224.9 TDs Rushing 12 26

PASSING YARDAGE 1820 2333 Comp-Att-Int 155-313-13 187-306-10 Average Per Pass 5.8 7.6 Average Per Catch 11.7 12.5 Average Per Game 151.7 194.4 TDs Passing 9 17

TOTAL OFFENSE 3375 5032 Total Plays 773 806 Average Per Play 4.4 6.2 Average Per Game 281.2 419.3

KICK RETURNS: 56-1147 30-626 PUNT RETURNS: 14-219 24-219 INT RETURNS: 10-153 13-330 KICK RETURN AVG 20.5 20.9 PUNT RETURN AVG 15.6 9.1 INT RETURN AVG 15.3 25.4 FUMBLES-LOST 19-12 18-7 PENALTIES-Yds 80-692 60-460

Average Per Game 57.7 38.3 PUNTS-Yards 72-3137 48-2104

Average Per Punt 43.6 43.8 Net punt average 38.6 36.4

TIME OF POSS/Game 28:52 31:07 3RD-DOWN Conversions 57/173 65/158

3rd-Down Pct 33% 41% 4TH-DOWN Conversions 7/20 12/17

4th-Down Pct 35% 71% SACKS BY-Yards 13-95 34-262 MISC YARDS 34 0 TDs SCORED 24 49 FIELD GOALS-ATT 9-11 13-24 ON-SIDE KICKS 2-3 0-0 RED-ZONE (19-25) 76% (37-47) 79% RED-ZONE TDs (13-25) 52% (28-47) 60% PAT-ATTEMPTS (20-22) 91% (48-49) 98% ATTENDANCE 395413 264141

Gms/Avg Per Gm 7/56488 5/52828

Head CoachHugh Freeze

Assistant Coachesn Tom Allen - Special TeamsCoordinator/Linebackersn Maurice Harris - Tight Ends/RecruitingCoordinator For Offensen Grant Heard - Wide Receiversn Chris Kiffin - Defensive Line/RecruitingCoordinator For Defensen Matt Luke - Co-OffensiveCoordinator/Offensive Linen Wesley McGriff - Co-DefensiveCoordinator/Cornerbacksn Derrick Nix - Running Backsn Dan Werner - Co-OffensiveCoordinator/Quarterbacksn Dave Wommack - DefensiveCoordinator/Safetiesn Corey Batoon - Assistant A.D./PlayerDevelopmentn Barney Farrar - Assistant A.D./HighSchool and Junior College Relationsn Paul Jackson - Head Strength andConditioning Coachn John Miller - Assistant A.D./FootballOperationsn Tyler Siskey - Coordinator of RecruitingDevelopmentn Andy Commer - Coordinator of VideoServicesn Ken Crain - Equipment Managern Pat Jernigan - Head Athletic Trainer

2011 Team Statistics

Coaching Staf f

2012 ScheduleSept. 1 CENTRAL

ARKANSASSept. 8 UTEPSept. 15 TEXASSept. 22 TulaneSept. 29 AlabamaOct. 6 TEXAS A&MOct. 13 AUBURNOct. 27 ArkansasNov. 3 GeorgiaNov. 10 VANDERBILTNov. 17 LSUNov. 24 MISSISSIPPI



2011 ResultsSept. 3 L, 14-13 BYUSept. 10 W, 42-24

SO. ILLINOISSept. 17 L, 30-7

At VanderbiltSept. 24 L, 27-13

GEORGIAOct. 1 W, 38-28

At Fresno St.Oct. 15 L, 52-7

ALABAMAOct. 22 L, 29-24

ARKANSASOct. 29 L, 41-23

At AuburnNov. 5 L, 30-13

At KentuckyNov. 12 L, 27-7

LA. TECHNov. 19 L, 52-7 LSUNov. 26 L, 31-3

At Miss. St.


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Ole Miss Football Weekly TV Show AffiliatesChannel Time/DateSportSouth Weekly Show: 5 p.m. Thursday;Repeat at 5:30 p.m. FridayCSS Weekly Show: 4 p.m. Thursday; Game Replays: 6:30-8:30 p.m. WednesdayCox Cable Weekly Show: 4 p.m. ThursdayWCBI-TV Columbus Weekly Show: 10 p.m. ThursdayWTOK-Meridian Weekly Show: TBA

Radio Af f i l iates

Serderius Bryant,right,tied for fourth in tackles(61) last season as afreshman linebacker forthe University ofMississippi football team.He also had four and ahalf tackles for loss. This season, Bryant, who isfrom Sanford, Fla., willcompete for playing timewith Mike Marry, JoelKight, and RalphWilliams.

Dispatch File Photo

DefenseContinued from Page 10

will look to him to controlthe line of scrimmage.Sophomore CarltonMartin earned consider-able playing time last sea-son and will be counted onto create a pass rush.

Bryon Bennett andUriah Grant will occupythe other tackle position.Bennett started eightgames last season as afreshman, while Grantmissed most of the springdue to a shoulder surgery.Last season, he had 22tackles and two tackles forloss.

To create a pass rush,C.J. Johnson was movedlast season from linebackerto defensive end. Afterearning three starts in2011, Johnson had 32 tack-les and four for loss. Hehad a team-high two tack-les for loss and was secondon the squad with 10 totaltackles against MississippiState University in the EggBowl.

Gerald Rivers, a spotstarter in 2011, missedmost of this offseason, butis expected to use his 6-5frame this season to helpcreate havoc in the back-field. Cameron Whighamwill try and create a passrush from the oppositeend.

The back seven fea-tures depth, experience,and talent and will helpthe unit try to create anew identity.

At linebacker, Ole Misswill be without game-changer D.T. Shackelford.In 2010, the junior had 48tackles (nine for loss) andfive sacks. He figured tostart at the weak side line-backer, but he is out forthe season. Mike Marry,who led the team with 81tackles and was a third-team All-SEC pick by PhilSteele, will lead thedefense in the middle.

“It motivates you a lotbecause you never want to

have a losing record, letalone have the worstrecord in the SEC,” saidMarry, a junior fromClearwater, Fla. “Youalways want to win, so itmotivates you to getthings turned around andfast.”

Joel Kight stepped inlast season afterShackelford went downwith a knee injury. Aftermaking 61 tackles, thecoaching staff has to find aspot for him in 2012. Thenew scheme will limitplaying time for some ofthe backup linebackers,which means AaronGarbutt and RalphWilliams could be affect-ed. Those two combinedfor 13 starts and 100 tack-les last season. DenzelNkemdiche also may playa role as a pass rusher.

The secondary figuredto revolve around Sawyer,who was penciled in toplay rover. He started all

12 games last season andfinished second on theteam with 70 tackles. Hewas third in the SEC with13 passes defended andsixth in interceptions withfour. Sawyer was selectedas preseason All-SECthird team by Athlon andPhil Steele.

Cornerback figures tobe solid with seniorWesley Pendleton and jun-ior Dehendret Collins.Pendleton, who started 10games last season, wonthe Jeff Hamm MemorialAward for theOutstanding FootballPlayer of the spring. Aftertransferring to Ole Miss inJanuary, Collins earnedthe top spot on the depthchart coming out of springdrills. Collins had fivetackles and two intercep-tions in the 2012 GroveBowl.

Tanner Burns andChief Brown will competefor playing time at free

safety position. Burns hastransferred each of thepast two seasons and hashad to sit out the entireseason both times perNCAA rules. Brown wasredshirted last season.

The 5-11, 202-poundBrishen Matthews willstart at the huskie positionafter missing the last 10games of 2011 with aninjury.

While the Rebels faceone of the nation’s mostdifficult schedules andpreseason predictions oflast in the WesternDivision, the playersbelieve a turnaround ispossible.

“Everybody is excited,”Sawyer said. “We all knowwhat a good person(coach Freeze) is, andmostly everybody is justexcited that he is here. It’salways challenge in thisleague. Every Saturday isdifficult. It’s always a bat-tle, so I am excited.”

OffenseContinued from Page 10

6-foot, 215-pounder, will tryto get more playing timeafter playing in five gameslast season. Brunetti, whotransfered from WestVirginia University, may bethe better runner, a skillthat is needed to commanda spread offense. Afterearning a spot on theParade High School All-America team, Brunetti isstill looking for his rhythmand may find that sparkfrom Freeze's new offen-sive philosophy.

Perhaps the biggest sur-prise last season was theperformance of the offen-sive line. While the line fea-tured two All-SEC candi-dates at tackle, the offenseranked at or near the bot-tom of the SEC in almost allmajor categories. Withthree starters gone from ateam that failed to scoremore than seven points infive games, there will beplenty of opportunities forplaying time. EmmanuelMcCray will be called uponto play left tackle. Most ofhis career has been plaguedwith injuries, but he may beas healthy as he has been.

Sophomore AaronMorris will help anchorthe left side at guard. EvanSwindall, who took overthe starting job halfwaythrough last season, willplay center. The lone sen-ior is A.J. Hawkins. Afterstarting in 16 games in thepast two seasons, includ-ing 13 at center, Hawkinswill move to right guard.Junior college transferPierce Burton will takeover the right tackle forBobbie Massie, was select-ed in the fourth round ofthe 2012 NFL draft.

“We have a lot of confi-dence in our offensive

University of Mississippi Athletic Media RelationsBarry Brunetti played in five games last season (twostarts) and threw for 144 yards and rushed for 110.He and junior college transfer Bo Wallace are in a battle for the starting quarterback job this season. Dispatch File Photo

Randy Mackey was an All-America quarterback atEast Mississippi Community College. This season, helikely will move to running back and join Jeff Scott tobolster the Rebels’ backfield.

Page 11: College Football Preview 2012

BY BEN PRICESpecial to The Dispatch

HOOVER, Ala. — No team inthe Bowl Championship Seriesera of college football has wonback-to-back national champi-onships.

The goal of the 2012University ofAlabama footballteam is to changethat statistic.

Junior quarter-back A.J.McCarron saidthe team hastaken to themotto, “Be leg-endary.” Havingwon two of thepast three nation-al championships,the Crimson Tideshould feel beinglegendary is onlya few steps away.

M c C a r r o nreturns at quar-terback after earn-ing offensiveMVP honors inlast season’snational champi-onship win. Thisyear, several newfaces will sur-

round him on offense. Thebiggest question is who willreplace 2011 Heisman finalistTrent Richardson, who wasselected third in the NFL draftin April. Junior Eddie Lacybacked up Richardson last sea-son and is expected to be theprimary ball carrier this year.Lacy has been named to the2012 Doak Walker Award watchlist, and his teammates believein his skills.

Senior center Barrett Jones

praised Lacy at SoutheasternConference Media Days, andbelieves the offense — buoyedby McCarron and Lacy — has achance not to miss a beat.

“He’s a specimen,” Jones saidof Lacy. “I think Eddie’s going tobecome a household name. Hewas banged up last year and did-n’t get a chance to show what hecan do. He’s unique, a hardworker, and I’ve enjoyed playingwith him.”

Jones also feels McCarron,who enters the season as theteam's undisputed leader, couldblossom this season. McCarronthrew for 2,634 yards and 16touchdowns in 2011.

“A.J.’s starting to become avocal leader,” Jones said. “Lastyear, it was harder for him to bea leader because there was aquestion of who was going to bethe quarterback.”

Coach Nick Saban has neverbeen one to rely on one back, soseveral players — namely DeeHart and T.J. Yeldon — couldget a chance to contribute. Aknee injury forced Hart to red-shirt in 2011, while Yeldon is afreshman who made a bigsplash in the spring. Theyshould combine with Lacy andjunior Jalston Fowler to give theCrimson Tide a deep and talent-ed backfield.

Paving the way is an offensiveline as skilled and experiencedas any in the nation. Jones, thewinner of the 2011 OutlandTrophy and one of the most dec-orated players in Alabama histo-ry, will lead the way. He earnedAll-America honors last seasonat left tackle, but has moved tocenter this season to take overfor William Vlachos. Mississippi



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FM101.5Lewisburg, Tenn. WAXO AM 1220Linden WINL FM 98.5McComb, Miss. WHNY AM 1250Meridian, Miss. WALT AM 910

FM 102.1Mobile WZEW FM 92.1Monroeville WMFC FM 99.3Montgomery WXFX FM 95.1Nashville, Tenn. WPRT FM 102.5Opp WAMI FM 102.3Panama City, Fla. WBPC FM 95.1Rome, Ga. WSRM FM 93.5Russellville WGOL AM 920Scottsboro WKEA

WWIC FM 98.3AM 1050

Selma WDXXWHBB FM 100.1

AM 1490Spartanburg, S.C. WASC AM 1530Tallahassee WACQ AM 580

FM 101.1Tupelo, Miss. WZLQ FM 98.5Tuscaloosa WFFN

WTSK FM 95.3AM 790

Vernon WJEC FM 106.5West Point, Ga. WCJM FM 100.9Winfield WKXM

WKXM FM 97.7AM 1300

Crimson Tide Spor ts Network


Kent Gidley/University of Alabama Athletic Media RelationsUniversity of Alabama junior defensive back Dee Milliner looks a ball into hishands in an early season practice in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Milliner had 27 tackles andthree interceptions last season in split time as a starter and a backup. He alsohad nine pass breakups and 12 passes defended.

Kent Gidley/University of Alabama Athletic Media RelationsUniversity of Alabama coach Nick Saban offers instruction in drills at an early season practice in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Saban is counting on new offensive coordinatorDoug Nussmeier to work with maturing quarterback AJ McCarron to lead the Crimson Tide offense.

Offense wants to help Crimson Tide win back-to-back titles

TOP: University of Alabama junior quarterback AJMcCarron looks out over themiddle to find a receiver in anearly season practice inTuscaloosa, Ala. McCarronthrew for 2,634 yards and 16touchdowns and completed66.8 percent of his passes lastseason to help lead theCrimson Tide to the nationalchampionship. RIGHT: New Alabama offensivecoordinator Doug Nussmeiertalks with players as theystretch before practice.Nussmeier joins coach NickSaban’s staff after workinglast as offensive coordinator atthe University of Washington.

Kent Gidley/University of Alabama Athletic Media Relations




Page 12: College Football Preview 2012

BY BEN PRICESpecial to The Dispatch

HOOVER, Ala. — With itsshutout of LSU in the 2012 BowlChampionship Series NationalChampionship Game, theUniversity of Alabama’s defensecapped one of the most impressiveseasons in college football history.

A few months later, five startersfrom that defense were selected inthe NFL draft. Four — MarkBarron (No. 7), Dre Kirkpatrick(No. 17), Dont’a Hightower (No.25), and Courtney Upshaw (No. 35)— went in the first 35 picks.

In all, defensive coordinatorKirby Smart lost seven startersfrom a group that ranked firstnationally in scoring and totaldefense. While Alabama, which isNo. 2 in the USA Today preseasontop 25, is considered a program thatreloads instead of rebuilds, itsdefense will rely on several newfaces who will be asked to continuethe tradition.

Not only will the Crimson Tidehave to deal with major personnellosses, but coach Nick Saban alsohas been vocal about dealing withcomplacency. After Alabama wonthe 2009 national championship, it“slipped” to 10-3 in 2010 and fin-ished the season ranked No. 10 inThe Associated Press poll and No.11 in the USA Today poll. Saban saidthere are similarities between thatseason and this one, but he feelsthis team has learned from thosemistakes.

“There are a lot of players on thisteam that this is the opportunity forthem and their season,” Saban said.“This team seems to be very muchcommitted to creating an identityfor themselves.”

The players who will try to cre-ate that identity are talented. Mediamembers at SEC Media Daysselected five Alabama players pre-season first-team All-SEC, and 12 onthe entire All-SEC team. Bothmarks were second in the league toSEC Western Division rival LSU(seven, 13). Still, Saban feels a lot ofhis team’s success will depend onthe defensive line, which has plentyof experience returning.

“Even though we’ll have somenew linebackers, I think those frontguys can make the linebackers’ joba little easier if they do the thingsthey’re capable of doing,” Sabansaid.

Seniors Jesse Williams andDamion Square will look to lead theway. A native of Australia, Williamscame to Tuscaloosa last year fromjunior college and became a fanfavorite. Williams is poised to movefrom the edge to nose tackle to clogup the middle. Square believes hav-ing Williams in the middle will beimportant.

“To have a guy like Jesse in themiddle, with his athletic ability, thestrength he has, and the room hetakes up is very big for ourdefense,” said Square, a three-yearletterwinner from Houston, Texas.

Senior Quinton Dial is expectedto play the other defensive end posi-tion after being a prominent backupas a junior. The job of replacing thepass rush of Upshaw likely will fall

to junior Ed Stinson and sophomoreAdrian Hubbard. Stinson has seenextensive playing time as a backup,while Hubbard has seen limitedaction as a reserve. SophomoresXzavier Dickson and JeoffreyPagan also could push for signifi-cant playing time.

At linebacker, Alabama will haveto replace Upshaw, Hightower, andJerrell Harris, who also a starter.Senior Nico Johnson and junior C.J.Mosley will step into bigger rolesafter being spot starters in previousseasons. The coaches will count onthat experience to help mold sopho-more Trey DePriest and freshmenReggie Ragland and Dillon Lee inthe tradition of great Alabama line-backers.

“There’s a reason we have guysthat go in the first round,” Squaresaid. “It’s because we recruit nation-ally, and we have new talent comingin to fill those gaps. Every year,everybody’s going to have a yearwhere they fill in spots, so we just

have to give those (new) guys timeto learn what they need to do so thatwe can compete in this league.”

The biggest question mark maybe in the secondary. Barron,Kirkpatrick, and DeQuan Menziewill suit up for NFL teams this fall,leaving plenty of playing time fornewcomers. Fifth-year seniorRobert Lester will command thisgroup. Dee Milliner returns at cor-nerback for his third season as astarter, and should provide muchneeded stability. Playing time at theother cornerback appears to be abattle between junior John Fultonand junior college standouts TravellDixon and Deion Belue. Dixon andBelue participated in spring drillsand impressed the coaching staff.

Next to Lester at safety, sopho-mores Vinnie Sunseri and Ha’SeanClinton-Dix are leading candidates,but freshman Landon Collins couldcompete for playing time with veter-ans Jarrick Williams and NickPerry.

THE DISPATCH • www.cdispatch.com12 SUNDAY, AUGUST 12, 2012




COLUMBUS, MS1-800-334-6769







Points Per Game 34.8 8.2 FIRST DOWNS 280 131

Rushing 134 57 Passing 135 63 Penalty 11 11

RUSHING YARDAGE 2788 938 Yards gained rushing 3028 1320 Yards lost rushing 240 382 Rushing Attempts 508 386 Average Per Rush 5.5 2.4 Average Per Game 214.5 72.2 TDs Rushing 34 3

PASSING YARDAGE 2797 1449 Comp-Att-Int 237-357-8 164-334-13 Average Per Pass 7.8 4.3 Average Per Catch 11.8 8.8 Average Per Game 215.2 111.5 TDs Passing 16 6

TOTAL OFFENSE 5585 2387 Total Plays 865 720 Average Per Play 6.5 3.3 Average Per Game 429.6 183.6

KICK RETURNS: #-Yds 22-530 84-1821 PUNT RETURNS: #-Yds 39-507 11-51 INT RETURNS: #-Yds 13-218 8-139 KICK RETURN AVG 24.1 21.7 PUNT RETURN AVG 13.0 4.6 INT RETURN AVERAGE 16.8 17.4 FUMBLES-LOST 12-4 18-7 PENALTIES-Yds 49-409 59-453

Average Per Game 31.5 34.8 PUNTS-Yds 39-1534 90-3858

Average Per Punt 39.3 42.9 Net punt average 36.5 36.1

TIME OF POSS/Game 32:48 27:06 3RD-DOWN Conversions 78/167 45/184

3rd-Down Pct 47% 24% 4TH-DOWN Conversions 9/13 11/26

4th-Down Pct 69% 42% SACKS BY-Yards 30-198 17-97 MISC YARDS 75 59 TDS SCORED 55 12 FGs-ATTEMPTS 23-36 7-14 ON-SIDE KICKS 0-0 0-1 Red Zone Scores (51-58) 88% (10-17) 59% Red Zone TDs (32-58) 55% (6-17) 35% PAT-Attempts (52-54) 96% (11-11) 100% ATTENDANCE 712747 405848

Gms/Avg Per 7/101821 5/81170 Neutral Site Games 1/78237

Head CoachNick Saban

Assistant Coachesn Burton Burns - Associate HeadCoach/Running Backsn Mike Groh - Wide Receivers/RecruitingCoordinatorn Doug Nussmeier - OffensiveCoordinator/Quarterbacksn Joe Pannunzio - Director of FootballOperationsn Jeremy Pruitt - Secondaryn Chris Rumph - Defensive Linen Kirby Smart - DefensiveCoordinator/Linebackersn Jeff Stoutland - Offensive Linen Lance Thompson - Outside Linebackersn Bobby Williams - Tight Ends/SpecialTeams Coordinatorn Scott Cochran - Director of Strength andConditioningn Paul Gonnella - Director of PlayerPersonnel

2011 Team Statistics

Coaching Staff

Kent Gidley/University of Alabama Athletic Media RelationsUniversity of Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley tackles LSU’s Alfred Blue in theCrimson Tide’s 21-0 victory in the Bowl Championship Series NationalChampionship Game in January. Mosley had one tackle and an interception tohelp the Alabama defense hold LSU to 92 total yards offense.

2012 ScheduleSept. 1 MichiganSept. 8 WESTERN

KENTUCKYSept. 15 ArkansasSept. 22 FLORIDA

ATLANTICOct. 13 MissouriOct. 20 TennesseeOct. 27 MISSISSIPPI




2011 ResultsSept. 3 W, 48-7

KENT STATESept. 10 W, 27-11

At Penn StateSept. 17 W, 41-0

NORTH TEXASSept. 24 W, 38-14

ARKANSASOct. 1 W, 38-10

At FloridaOct. 8 W, 34-0

VANDERBILTOct. 15 W, 52-7

At Ole MissOct. 22 W, 37-7

TENNESSEENov. 5 L, 9-6 OT LSUNov. 12 W, 24-7

At Miss. StateNov. 19 W, 45-21

GA. SOUTHERNNov. 26 W, 42-14

At AuburnJan. 9 W, 21-0

vs. LSU


OffenseContinued from Page 12

native Anthony Steen and2011 All-SEC performerChance Warmack will playat guard. On the outside,right tackle D.J. Flukerreturns for his third yearas a starter. At left tackle,sophomore CyrusKouandijo is the lone new-comer. In 2011, Kouandjiosplit time at left tackle withJones in the first eightgames before suffering aseason-ending knee injury.

“As an offensive unit,we are excited about theseason,” said senior tightend Michael Williams, aformer standout atPickens County HighSchool. “It’s been a chal-lenge for us (learning anew offense), but we’vegot a spring game and thesummer finished. Fallcamp will be about polish-ing things up before theseason starts.”

The offensive line willneed to give McCarron

time so he can spread theball around to a core ofnew receivers. Gone arethe top four pass-catchersfrom 2011, includingMarquis Maze and DariusHanks. Sophomore KennyBell had just 17 catcheslast year and is the leadingreturning receiver.Williams is a familiar face,but he is known more forhis blocking than hisreceiving. Others likeDeAndrew White, KevinNorwood, and ChristionJones have seen action inbig situations, but theirconsistency and stabilityare still in question.

“All of those guys provedthey could make plays,”Saban said. “Now they mustmake those plays on a moreconsistent basis.”

While preparing for lifein college football’s bestconference, Alabama,which is ranked No. 2behind LSU in USA

Today's preseason top 25,will face No. 8 Universityof Michigan on Sept. 1 in ahigh-profile opener inArlington, Texas.

“I love it,” Jones said. “Ilove opening up against amarquee opponent. Itgives you that little bit ofextra motivation in the off-season because you knowwhat you are workingtowards.”

Alabama's ability to thriveunder new offensive coordi-nator Doug Nussmeier willbe a big key to helping it real-ize its goal. Previously withthe University ofWashington, Nussmeierbrings new ideas, but he isn’texpected to shake things uptoo much.

“He’s got a lot of posi-tive energy and a lot ofgood ideas that we’veimplemented into ouroffense,” Saban said. “Ithink the players respondwell to him. The players

like him. I think the adjust-ments that we’ve made inthe passing game aregoing to be beneficial toour offensive team beingmore explosive and creat-ing more balance. I’mexcited to have him. He’s agood recruiter. He reallyfits in well with the othercoaches on the staff. Thereare a lot of positives there.”

Nussmeier, who hasworked with talentedquarterbacks like JakeLocker at Washington,said balance will be a keyon offense. He said thegoal will be to put play-makers in the best posi-tion to make plays,whether that is in the pis-tol formation used lastseason under offensivecoordinator Jim McElwainor in another scheme.

“We’ll use a variety ofthings, whether it beshifts, motions, forma-tions, whatever it is to cre-

ate advantages for us,”Nussmeier said.

Jones said Nussmeierunderstands he doesn’t haveto fix what’s not broken.

“There haven’t beenany huge changes. Hestuck with the good thingshe knows we do well, buthe also added some newwrinkles,” Jones said.

Alabama will do newthings, but don’t look forthe Crimson Tide tobecome the latest convertin a pass-happy, spread-era of college football.

“I love our approach,”said Williams, who is partof a senior class thatenters this season with arecord of 48-6. “You wantto win. Winning, that’sfun. That’s where we getour fun.”

Reports from theUniversity of AlabamaAthletic Media Relationsstaff were included in thisstory.

Defense has to reload without key pieces

Kent Gidley/University of Alabama Athletic Media RelationsSenior Jesse Williams (54) and junior Ed Stinson (49) are two of the most experienced players on aUniversity of Alabama defense that will have plenty of new faces this season, including freshmenWilson Love (51), Darren Lake (95), and Dalvin Tomlinson (52).

Page 13: College Football Preview 2012

BY BARRY ALLENSpecial to The Dispatch

HOOVER, Ala. — Collegefootball fans are passionateabout their favorite teams,whether they load up themotor home and head to thestadium itself or gather withfriends to watch the game ontelevision.

With the SoutheasternConference’s current televi-sion package, every SEChome game is televised onCBS Sports, ESPN (includ-ing ESPN2, ESPNU, andSEC Network), Fox SportsSouth, and Comcast/CharterSports Southeast. Each SECschool also has the right totelevise one home game onpay-per-view. Those games,and the SEC Network, alsoare available through ESPNGamePlan.

While fans are passionateabout their teams and therivals they play, they may notbe aware of a third team atthe stadium on game day.Sixty to 70 men and womenwith the network broadcastand production team also areon location, and not only arethey passionate about collegefootball, but they also aredriven to put the best producton the air.

Craig Silver serves as theproducer for the “SEC onCBS” each Saturday. VerneLundquist, Gary Danielson,and Tracy Wolfson are theon-air talent. Games typicallyair at 2:30 p.m. and go to anational audience. The SECTV contract gives CBS thefirst pick of league gameseach week.

"As the producer, I am thehead coach and Verne, Gary,and Tracy are our star play-ers," Silver said. "My job isvery similar to the headcoach in trying to use theright element at the righttime.

“We cover the game thatis in front of us, not the gamewe thought we were going tohave. Just like the teams, wehave to adjust on the fly asthe game changes. We maynot always be thinking thesame thing, but as the pro-ducer I have the make thecall of what goes on the airand what does not. We have areally good team, and I thinkwe put a good product on theair each week.”

Silver said he puts in“more than 80 hours a week”to prepare for one SEC foot-ball game. He begins work-ing as soon as the previousweek’s game is completed.He said the bulk of his pro-duction work and storylinesare ready to be sent to theproduction team as early as 9a.m. Monday.

The crew members dis-cuss matchups, series histo-ry, rivalries, and storylinesthey feel will make eachbroadcast a success. Silversays the crew spendsMonday, Tuesday, andWednesday working on

those storylines, gatheringvideo highlights, and build-ing graphics that willenhance Saturday’s show.

“Football season is a full-time job,” Silver said. “Thesocial media has added morepressure to prepare eachweek. We are a live medium,and we can’t have a redo ifthere is something we didnot like. We don’t ever wantto read something in thenewspaper or on the Internetthat happened in the gameand we did not cover it.”

While there are staff con-ference calls and on-site pro-duction meetings, each mem-ber of the team prepares dif-ferently to make their markon the telecast.

Dave Neal, who is theplay-by-play announcer forthe SEC Network game ofthe week, spends hours eachgathering information,researching each team, andsurfing the Internet for arti-cles and feature stories onthe teams.

“The amount of informa-tion out there is incredible,”Neal said. “That makes isthat much more difficult toprepare each week. The aver-age fan knows a lot abouttheir team. SEC fans are pas-sionate about their school.It’s my job to tell them what isgoing on during the gameand, at the same time, tell sto-ries they may not know abouta coach or player.”

SEC AssociateCommissioner CharlesBloom said Neal calls one ofthe most-watched SECgames for the ESPN family ofnetworks each week. AndreWare, the 1989 HeismanTrophy winner, and CaraCapuano, join Neal on thebroadcast.

“The SEC Network is thethird-most watched ESPNplatform behind ESPN andESPN2,” Bloom said. “Thegoal of the SEC was to be themost widely distributed tele-vision conference in thecountry. We feel like we haveaccomplished that goal.”

Silver said he andDanielson arrive on campusThursday and watch thatafternoon’s practice. The restof the crew arrives later thatevening. After a Fridaymorning production meet-ing, the crew arrives at thetruck for a 10-hour day ofmore research, graphics, andstorylines that have devel-oped since they arrived oncampus.

“It’s a full day on Fridaybuilding some things we maynot have finished before weleft New York and new thingswe have discovered since weleft for the game site,” Silveradded. “We put the finishingtouches on what we aredoing and gather new infor-mation and share new ideas.”

The producer, director,and announcers gatherFriday for sit-down inter-views with the head coach,offensive and defensive coor-

dinators, and four to six play-ers from the home team,which generally takes aboutthree hours. Later that day,the crew meets with the visit-ing team, either at the teamhotel or by telephone, togather the same informationfor the broadcast.

“The meetings with thecoaches and players areessential to the broadcast,”Neal said. “It is a unique wayfor us the gain access to theprogram and share stories onthe air for the TV audience.”

The production teamgathers again the morning ofthe game for last-minutepreparation for the telecastand to re-tweak the open withany new storylines. The crewassembles at the truck fivehours prior to kickoff.

Silver said that CBS uses15-16 cameras every week,plus 12-14 digital replaydevices and two graphics

machines. He said they usethe same truck each week toprovide consistency for eachtelecast. He estimates crewsuse two to three miles ofcable each week, consider-ably less than used to bepulled because most stadi-ums now are prewired for tel-evision, making the set upmuch easier.

The networks also hire anumber of workers at eachgame to assist with the tele-cast. Many of the hires arecollege students, who serveas runners for the crew.

After a week of prepara-tion, it’s time for kickoff. Justlike the teams on the field,the TV crew hopes to deliverits best.

“It’s the passion,” he said.“It’s so important to people inthat part of the country. It’sgenerational. It’s the passionand the pride. It is a part ofwho you are.”



A list of preseason All-Southeastern Conferenceteams as chosen by reporterscovering SEC Media Days:


QB—Tyler Wilson, ArkansasRB—Marcus Lattimore, SouthCarolinaRB—Knile Davis, ArkansasWR—Da’Rick Rogers,TennesseeWR—Cobi Hamilton, ArkansasTE—Philip Lutzenkirchen,AuburnOL—D.J. Fluker, AlabamaOL—Alex Hurst, LSUOL—Chance Warmack,AlabamaOL—Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M C—Barrett Jones, Alabama

Second TeamQB—Aaron Murray, GeorgiaRB—Eddie Lacy, AlabamaRB—Zac Stacy, VanderbiltWR—Ryan Swope, Texas A&M WR—Justin Hunter, TennesseeTE—Chris Gragg, ArkansasOL—Larry Warford, KentuckyOL—Chris Faulk, LSUOL—Alvin Bailey, ArkansasOL—Gabe Jackson, MississippiStateC—xReese Dismukes, AuburnC—xP.J. Lonergan, LSUC—xT.J. Johnson, SouthCarolina

Third TeamQB—A.J. McCarron, AlabamaRB—Onterio McCalebb, AuburnRB—Spencer Ware, LSUWR—Emory Blake, AuburnWR—Tavarres King, GeorgiaTE—Michael Williams, AlabamaOL—Kenarious Gates, GeorgiaOL—Xavier Nixon, FloridaOL—Ja’Wuan James,TennesseeOL—Elvis Fisher, MissouriC—Patrick Lewis, Texas A&M


DL—Jadeveon Clowney, SouthCarolinaDL—Barkevious Mingo, LSUDL—Sam Montgomery, LSUDL—Corey Lemonier, AuburnILB—Nico Johnson, AlabamaOLB—Jarvis Jones, GeorgiaOLB—Sean Porter, Texas A&M DB—Tyrann Mathieu, LSUDB—Eric Reid, LSUDB—Robert Lester, AlabamaDB—Bacarri Rambo, Georgia

Second TeamDL—Jesse Williams, AlabamaDL—John Jenkins, GeorgiaDL—Damion Square, AlabamaDL—Devin Taylor, SouthCarolinaILB—C.J. Mosley, AlabamaOLB—Alonzo Highsmith,ArkansasOLB—A.J. Johnson, TennesseeDB—Johnthan Banks,Mississippi StateDB—Dee Milliner, AlabamaDB—D.J. Swearinger, SouthCarolinaDB—Matt Elam, Florida

Third TeamDL—Sharrif Floyd, FloridaDL—Dominique Easley, FloridaDL—Bennie Logan, LSUDL—Nosa Equae, Auburn ILB—Jon Bostic, FloridaOLB—Cam Lawrence,Mississippi StateOLB—DeVonte Holloman,South CarolinaDB—T’Sharvin Bell, AuburnDB—E.J. Gaines, MissouriDB—Prentiss Waggner,TennesseeDB—xTharold Simon, LSUDB—xTrey Wilson, VanderbiltDB—xCharles Sawyer,Mississippi


P—Brad Wing, LSUPK—Caleb Sturgis, FloridaRS—Tyrann Mathieu, LSUAP—Dennis Johnson, Arkansas

Second TeamP—Steven Clark, AuburnPK—Drew Alleman, LSURS—Onterio McCalebb, AuburnAP—Bruce Ellington, SouthCarolina

Third TeamP—Dylan Breeding, ArkansasPK—Cody Parkey, AuburnRS—Andre Debose, Florida AP—Johnthan Banks,Mississippi Statex—Denotes tie in the voting

Predicted Order of Finish

SEC ChampionTeam Pts.1. LSU . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1292. Alabama . . . . . . . . . . . . .653. Georgia . . . . . . . . . . . . . .144. South Carolina . . . . . . . . .65. Arkansas . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46. Auburn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2T7. Florida . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1T7. Ole Miss . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

Eastern Division (First Place Votes)

1.Georgia (132) . . . . . . .1,4342.South Carolina (72) . .1,3583.Florida (12) . . . . . . . . .1,0454.Missouri (2) . . . . . . . . . .7975.Tennessee (4) . . . . . . . .7186.Vanderbilt . . . . . . . . . . . .5987.Kentucky . . . . . . . . . . . . .266

Western Division (First Place Votes)

1. LSU (139) . . . . . . . . .1,4492. Alabama (72) . . . . . . .1,3793. Arkansas (6) . . . . . . .1,0934. Auburn (4) . . . . . . . . . .8275. Texas A&M . . . . . . . . . .6536. Mississippi State . . . . .5547. Ole Miss (1) . . . . . . . . .261

ALL-SEC Media Teams

Wall-to-wall actionprecedes, followsgames every week

ContributedGary Danielson, left, and Verne Lundquist again willserve as the primary broadcasting team in the boothfor the 2012 Southeastern Conference football season.

‘Third team’ shines every week for fans

Dispatch File PhotoA look inside a production truck and the wall of televisions that members of the game crew monitor to giveviewers at home the best shots of the action.

Page 14: College Football Preview 2012

BY JOHN ZENORThe Associated Press

The SoutheasternConference has lined up a fewcontenders for Lucky No. 7.

Defending national championAlabama and last season’s 13-game juggernaut LSU remain theheadliners of a league that haswon the last six BowlChampionship Series titles. Andthat’s despite the Crimson Tideand the Tigers losing a combinedsix first-round NFL draft picks.

Other SEC — and national —powers are trying to catch up.

Arkansas, which ended lastseason ranked fifth, and Georgiareturn star quarterbacks. SteveSpurrier fields another formida-ble-looking South Carolinateam. Plus, the Razorbacks andGamecocks get star runningbacks back from injuries.

Even those suffering fromSEC fatigue might not want tomiss that prime-time Nov. 3three-match in Baton Rouge.The Tide and the Tigers splitlast season with ‘Bama grabbingRound 2, 21-0 in the BCS titlegame in New Orleans.

The rivalry carried over ontoTwitter with sniping betweenTide quarterback AJ McCarronand LSU Heisman finalistTyrann Mathieu — in June.

“I can tell you that no game iswon in a Twitter page,” LSUcoach Les Miles noted.

What’s new this year is Big12 Conference defectors TexasA&M and Missouri step into theSEC. They’ll both try to showthey belong.

“Only way you’re going to getrespect is winning games, OK?”

Missouri coach Gary Pinkelsaid. “That’s the only way it’sgoing to happen. I got no prob-lem with that. You’ve got toprove yourself.”

Here is an overall look at theconference:


Aaron Murray, WR Tavarres King, DBBacarri Rambo, LB Jarvis Jones.Returning starters: 6 offense, 9defense.

Notes: RB Isaiah Crowell is gone.Cornerback Sanders Commings andcornerback Branden Smith — andperhaps Rambo — face suspensions.... Malcolm Mitchell, last season’s No.2 receiver, opens at cornerback andwill likely play both positions. ...Lightweight nonconference scheduleincludes Buffalo, Florida Atlantic andGeorgia Southern.

SOUTH CAROLINA — Key play-ers: QB Connor Shaw, RB MarcusLattimore, DE Jadeveon Clowney, DEDevin Taylor. Returning starters: 7offense, 6 defense.

Notes: A second straight Top 10finish seems possible. ... If Lattimorereturns to pre-knee injury form, itcould more than make up for the lossof WR Alshon Jeffery. ... Pass rushremains formidable even minus NFLfirst-round pick DE Melvin Ingram.

FLORIDA — Key players: RBMike Gillislee, WR Andre Dubose, LBJon Bostic, DL Sharrif Floyd.Returning starters: 7 offense, 10defense.

Notes: Gators try to rebound frommediocre season. ... Brent Peasereplaces offensive coordinator Charlie

Weis, and has the personnel to mounta more physical running attack. ...Defensive linemen Ronald Powell andDominique Easley are trying to returnfrom knee injuries.

MISSOURI — Key players: QBJames Franklin, LT Elvis Fisher, WRDorial Green-Beckham, CB E.J.Gaines. Returning starters: 6 offense,7 defense.

Notes: The SEC’s third group ofTigers enters the league hoping toprove skeptics wrong. ... Franklin isexpected to be fully recovered fromspring shoulder surgery after flirtingwith 3,000-yard passing, 1,000-yardrushing season. ... It’s unclear if RBHenry Josey (knee) will play.

TENNESSEE — Key players: QBTyler Bray, WR Da’Rick Rogers, LBA.J. Johnson, LB Herman Lathers.Returning starters: 10 offense, 7defense.

Notes: Derek Dooley’s rebuildingproject continues after one SEC winlast season. ... Volunteers have dan-gerous receivers but must replace RBTauren Poole. ... Tennessee reloadedwith several JUCO transfers, includingonetime Alabama defensive linemanDarrington Sentimore and WRCordarrelle Patterson.

VANDERBILT — Key players: QBJordan Rodgers, RB Zac Stacy, DTRob Lohr, CB Trey Wilson. Returningstarters: 9 offense, 8 defense.

Notes: The Commodores haveadopted coach James Franklin’s feistyattitude, but face uphill climb from 2-6SEC mark that still marked solidprogress. ... Rodgers, Aaron’syounger brother, seems to haveregained Franklin’s confidence afterbowl game benching.

KENTUCKY — Key players: QBMorgan Newton, OL Larry Warford,WR La’Rod King, S MartaviusNeloms. Returning starters: 6 offense,5 defense.

Notes: Coach Joker Phillips mightbe on the hot seat after 4-12 SECmark in first two seasons. ... QBMorgan Newton was held out of con-

tact in spring after having surgery onhis right shoulder. ... Defense mustreplace SEC’s two leaders in tacklesper game, LB Danny Trevathan andS/LB Winston Guy.


Mettenberger, CB Tyrann Mathieu, DESam Montgomery, DT Bennie Logan.Returning starters: 7 offense, 5defense.

Notes: Mettenberger, a formerGeorgia player, has drawn strongreviews from coach Les Miles andteammates and might represent a siz-able upgrade at QB. ... Offense hasrunners galore, led by Spencer Wareand Michael Ford, and offensive linehas five players who have logged 102collective starts. ... Secondary losesMorris Claiborne, but returns starsMathieu and Eric Reid. ... EndsMontgomery and Barkevious Mingocombined for 17 sacks. ... Tigersspent 11 weeks at No. 1 last season.

ALABAMA — Key players: QB AJMcCarron, C Barrett Jones, LB NicoJohnson, S Robert Lester. Returningstarters: 6 offense, 4 defense.

Notes: Quest for third national titlein four years faces daunting scheduling,including opener with Michigan inArlington, Texas, and visits to LSU andArkansas. ... New offensive coordinatorDoug Nussmeier is unlikely to changepound-before-pass philosophy. ...Defense that topped all four major cat-egories nationally must replace sevenstarters with 188 combined starts.

ARKANSAS — Key players: QBTyler Wilson, RB Knile Davis, WRCobi Hamilton, LB Alonzo Highsmith.Returning starters: 8 offense, 6defense.

Notes: Coach John L. Smith tryingto keep Bobby Petrino’s offseasonouster from slowing program’smomentum. ... All-SEC RB KnileDavis returns after ankle injury side-lined him in 2011. ... Razorbacks host-ing LSU in Fayetteville for the firsttime since 1992. ... Six members ofSmith’s staff in new roles.

AUBURN — Key players: QB KiehlFrazier, WR Emory Blake, DE CoreyLemonier, LB Daren Bates. Returningstarters: 7 offense, 9 defense.

Notes: Frazier is the odds-onfavorite to claim starting job over ClintMoseley. ... Tigers have new coordi-nators in Scot Loeffler (offense) andBrian VanGorder (defense). ... Two-time 1,000-yard rusher Mike Dyer isgone, and so is Gus Malzahn’s no-huddle offense.

TEXAS A&M — Key players: LTLuke Joeckel, RB Christine Michael,WR Ryan Swope, LB Sean Porter.Returning starters: 7 offense, 6defense.

Notes: QB Jameill Showers isapparent leader in race to replaceRyan Tannehill, the No. 8 NFL draftpick. ...Coach Kevin Sumlin, whoseHouston offenses twice led thenation in total, passing and scoring,brings a fast-paced attack to CollegeStation. ... Top pass rushers SeanPorter and Damontre Moore returnfrom team that led nation in sacksper game.

MISSISSIPPI STATE — Keyplayers: QB Tyler Russell, LG GabeJackson, CB Johnthan Banks, LBCameron Lawrence. Returningstarters: 5 offense, 7 defense.

Notes: Bulldogs have won back-to-back bowl games for first timesince 1999-2000 — not to mentionthree straight Egg Bowls with rivalMississippi. ... Coach Dan Mullenpredicts “a huge year” from Russell.... Mississippi State 0-12 underMullen against SEC West teamsother than Ole Miss.

MISSISSIPPI — Key players: WRDonte Moncrief, RB Jeff Scott, LBMike Marry. Returning starters: 7offense, 7 defense.

Notes: Randall Mackey hasmoved from QB to WR with emer-gence of Barry Brunetti, JUCO trans-fer Bo Wallace. ... WR NickolasBrassell has left the team because ofacademics, and four others had workthis summer to assure eligibility.

THE DISPATCH • www.cdispatch.com14 SUNDAY, AUGUST 12, 2012

MORE COLLEGEFOOTBALLn Starting Sunday, Aug. 19, The Dispatch will preview one ofthe eight remaining major conferences to count down thestart to the 2012 season.

Kent Gidley/University of Alabama Athletic Media RelationsThe University of Alabama’s Jerrell Harris stops LSU’s Kenny Hilliard in theCrimson Tide’s 21-0 victory in the Bowl Championship Series NationalChampionship Game in January. Harris tied for the team lead with seven tackles,but he and several other key pieces of Alabama’s dominating defense are nolonger with the team, leaving plenty of questions entering the 2012 season.


Dispatch File PhotoMississippi Sate University linebacker Cam Lawrence (10) chases University of Alabama tight end Michael Williams, a former standout at Pickens County High Schoolin Reform, Ala., while defensive back Johnthan Banks waits to make a move in their game last season in Starkville. Alabama, which is ranked No. 2 in the USA Todaypreseason poll, and LSU, the No. 1 team, remain the favorites in the Southeastern Conference this season.

LSU, Alabama remain hunted in expanded SEC

Page 15: College Football Preview 2012

Editor’s Note: Barry Allen has workedSoutheastern Conference broadcasts forseveral sports for a number of years. Thisfall, he will work as a statistician in theproduction truck with the rest of the crew.

BY BARRY ALLENSpecial to The Dispatch

HOOVER, Ala. — While most college foot-ball fans are making last-minute plans for thepregame tailgate, the television crew alreadyis nestled in the production truck preparingfor the telecast.

The majority of the crew arrives at thetruck seven hours prior to the game. The pro-ducer, assistant producer, director, assistantdirector, graphics producer (or FONTCoordinator), Chyron operator (person whotypes up the graphics), camera operators, dig-ital replay machine operators, operations man-ager, and runners make up the first wave.

The producer serves as the “head coach”and is in charge of the telecast. The producermakes the final call on what makes the air.

The assistant producer is responsible forgetting the show on and off the air. The “AP”is in constant contact with the network’s head-quarters and adds a verbal countdown to bringthe team in and out of breaks. The AP alsolooks for breaking news and when to send thelive program back to the studio for scoreupdates and highlights.

The director and assistant director workwith the camera operators and digital record-ing machines. They sit in front of a bank ofmonitors in the truck and decide which pic-tures best fit the action being described by theannouncers. Their keen eye is critical to thetelecast and getting the right replays is essen-tial to the success of the show.

The graphics producer and Chyron opera-tor are responsible for the graphics you see onTV, including the billboards, player headshots, biographies, and statistics. The graph-ics producer works with the statisticians toupdate the information.

The next wave — the BUG operator (per-son the keeps up with the scoreboard andclock that appears on the screen), stage man-ager, and statisticians — arrives about threehours before the game.

The BUG operator records all data for thatevent. The stage manager serves as the pro-ducer in the broadcast booth. Their role is toset up all on-camera shots with the announcersand to go over all billboards and promos thathave to be read during the game. Thosethings include talking about an upcoming pro-gram on the network or a sponsored element,such as the play of the day or the player of thegame. The stage manager communicates withthe producer and the assistant producer untilthe end of the game.

The open is rehearsed 30 minutes priorto the game time before the talent goes liveto welcome the viewers to the telecast.

There are typically two statisticians foreach game. The “talent stats” sits in thebooth and provides the announcers updatednumbers and facts. The “official stats” sits inthe press box near the school’s official stat-istician for accuracy. The statisticians arethe eyes and ears for the graphics producer.

I sit in the “talent stats” chair for football,basketball, and baseball. During football sea-sons, I travel with the ESPNU crew workingPacific 12 Conference, Sun Belt Conference,and Historically Black Colleges andUniversity telecasts on Thursday andSaturday nights. I work basketball gamesfor ESPN, ESPN2, Fox SportsSouth, andComcast/Charter Sports Southeast.

During baseball season, I am responsiblefor stats and assist with research for theESPNU Thursday Night SEC Game of theWeek. I also work SEC baseball and othercollege games for ESPN, Fox Sports South,and CSS.

It is my job to keep the announcers andgraphics people updated, to help them withdown and distance, and other important sta-tistics. I also use media guides and recordbooks to research for school, conference,and NCAA marks that might be set in thegame or milestones reached by a coach orplayer.


The OCH Sports Medicine Team boasts Paul A. Kosko, PT, DPT, SCS, who is one of less than 10 board certified specialists in sports physical therapy in the state of Mississippi — and is the only one in the Golden Triangle area!

His knowledge and expertise coupled with that of our certified athletic trainers and skilled physicians provides the perfect game plan for preventing, treating, managing and rehabilitating sports related injuries.

the OCH Sports Medicine Team for championship injury prevention, evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation.

EMCCContinued from Page 15

advantage, I would like tosee it go back to the way itwas, for the good of thestate and the entireleague. I am not a propo-nent, but we have to playby the same rules aseverybody else.

I think we will still bringin talented ballplayers eachand every year. Our admin-istration’s support and ourfacilities help give us anadvantage. I still would liketo see some more changesin the year ahead. We gotthem to review the changesfrom last year, so there ishope. I am not a fanbecause I support what isbest for our league.

Q: Spring practice mustbe unique for a junior col-lege, since high schoolrecruits aren’t on campusyet and your sophomoresare through, so you basical-ly have one class of athleteson the field. What do youlearn about your team withthat small sample?

A: The main thing withspring is you are going tofind out if some of the guysare good enough to makeit, to start. Spring is tough.However, having few play-ers mean you can givemore specialized instruc-tion. More players getmore snaps. There isalways a large group offreshmen who are seeingmeaningful action for thefirst time.

You start to learn theidentity of your team andyou find out what yourteam is going to look like.Sophomores will alwayslead you, so you have someleaders emerge in springdrills. This is their chanceto take ownership of theteam, setting the bar prettyhigh for when the newcom-ers report in the summer.

Q: Speaking of incom-ing players, did winning thenational championshipopen more doors duringthe recruiting process?

A: It sparked a lot of con-versation with other coach-es more than anything. Wehave a few coaches in theleague who enjoy doing alot of talking and negativerecruiting. Coaches closeto us do a lot of talking andnegative recruiting. Werecruit on what we do andnot what others do. Ourmantra is we control what

we can control and wedon’t worry about what wecan’t control.

Opening up the state(by eliminating recruitingdistricts) has really openedit to negative recruiting.Our graduation rate is phe-nomenal, as has been oursuccess on the field. Thereare a lot of people tryingnew ways to get where weare.

Q: Now that eightmonths have passed sincethe title-clinching winagainst Arizona WesternCollege in the El ToroBowl, has it sunk in whatthe 2011 team accom-plished?

A: That was a specialteam. They bought intoeverything we tried to doand they worked extremelyhard. They deservedeverything that happenedto them. The team had aconfidence level and swag-ger. No matter the situationin a game, they neverwavered and they neverhad a doubt they would winin the end.

The team played its bestwhen the game was thebiggest. That is the truemark of a championshipteam. As far as the accom-plishment sinking in, theplayers deserve a tremen-dous amount of credit. I amjust glad they let me comealong for the ride. Winningthe national championshipdid increase the demandsand made the off-seasonmore hectic. I will gladlytake that sacrifice.

Q: You always havebeen an advocate for juniorcollege football in thisstate. Having played (atPearl River C.C.) and nowcoached for 12 junior col-lege seasons, do you con-sider yourself a junior col-lege lifer?

A: I get asked that ques-tion a lot. The answer issimple. My job is to takecare of my family the bestway I can. I was inter-viewed earlier this year bya Fellowship of ChristianAthletes magazine writer.The person interviewed allof the national champi-onship coaches from theyear before; from NickSaban (at the University ofAlabama) all the way down.He told me I had the mostunique answer ever to the

question “What motivatesme.”

My response was myfamily. Taking care of myfamily is my motivation. Iwant to provide for themthe things they need to besuccessful and happy inlife. That drives me eachand every year. Someoneout there right now wantsmy job. They are workinghard to find a way to beatmy team and take my job.

My goal is taking care ofmy family and my coaches’families and doing the bestI can for East Mississippi.That is where my loyaltieslie. Faith, family, andEMCC are the most impor-tant things. I am not look-ing for the next level. I amvery excited about beinghere and being part of theEMCC family. If a situationpresents itself, we will prayabout it and the Good Lordwill lead. But I am passion-ate about this college andwho I work for.

The grass is not alwaysgreener on the other side.Some coaches are motivat-ed by winning games andchampionships. I am moti-vated by taking care of myfamily and my EMCC fami-ly. Everyone of us is work-ing to put bread on thetable. You will find manycoaches who are ego-driv-en. I am family-driven.

Q: With the opener lessthan a month ago, can weassume you are proud yourteam will start No. 1 in thenation?

A: It is honor to be thefirst top-ranked team in thepreseason in school histo-ry. We take a lot of pride inthat, and will do our best touphold that ranking. It is along and grueling season.However, I think we havehigh character kids and wewill do our best to defendour title.

There is nothing likejunior college football inthis state. It is a very pas-sionate game played on avery high level. I invite theaverage fan to come outand see a game this year. Itwill definitely make animpact. Having nationalprestige is great for yourprogram, but we knowstarting Aug. 30, we willface nine teams that wantto take that number fromus.

East Mississippi Community College Athletic Media RelationsBuddy Stephens and the East Mississippi Community College football team will opendefense of their 2011 national title at 7 p.m. Aug. 30 vs. Pearl River Central C.C.

Plenty of work to do for crewSEC Football

Early TV ScheduleWeek 1

Aug. 30 South Carolina at Vanderbilt ESPN 6 p.m.Aug. 30 Texas A&M at Louisiana Tech (Shreveport, La.) ESPNU 6:30 p.m.Aug. 31 Tennessee vs. N.C. State (Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, Atlanta,Ga.) ESPNU 6:30 p.m.Sept. 1 Buffalo at Georgia SEC Network 11:21 a.m. Sept. 1 Bowling Green at Florida ESPN 2:30 p.m.Sept. 1 Auburn vs. Clemson (Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, Atlanta, Ga.)ESPN 6 p.m.Sept. 1 North Texas at LSU ESPNU 6 p.m.Sept. 1 Jackson State at Mississippi State FSN 6 p.m.Sept. 1 Alabama vs. Michigan (Cowboys Classic, Arlington, Texas)WKDH 7 p.m. Sept. 1 Central Arkansas at Ole Miss PPV 6 p.m.Sept. 1 Jacksonville State at Arkansas PPV TBASept. 1 Southeastern Louisiana at Missouri PPV 6 p.m.Sept. 2 Kentucky at Louisville ESPN 2:30 p.m.

Week 2Sept. 8 Auburn at Mississippi State ESPN 11 a.m. Sept. 8 East Carolina at South Carolina SEC Network 11:21 a.m.Sept. 8 Florida at Texas A&M ESPN 2:30 p.m.Sept. 8 Western Kentucky at Alabama SEC Network 2:39 p.m. Sept. 8 Washington at LSU ESPN 6 p.m. Sept. 8 UTEP at Ole Miss FSN 6 p.m.Sept. 8 La.-Monroe at Arkansas (Little Rock, Ark.) ESPNU 6 p.m.Sept. 8 Kent State at Kentucky CSS 6:30 p.m. Sept. 8 Georgia at Missouri ESPN2 6:45 p.m. Sept. 8 Vanderbilt at Northwestern Big Ten Network 7 p.m.Sept. 8 Georgia State at Tennessee PPV TBA

Week 3Sept. 15 Louisiana-Monroe at Auburn SEC Network 11:21 a.m.Sept. 15 Presbyterian at Vanderbilt CSS 11:30 a.m. Sept. 15 Alabama at Arkansas CBS Sports 2:30 p.m. Sept. 15 Texas A&M at SMU FSN 2:30 p.m. Sept. 15 Florida at Tennessee ESPN 5 p.m. Sept. 15 Arizona State at Missouri ESPN2 6 p.m. Sept. 15 Western Kentucky at Kentucky ESPNU 6 p.m. Sept. 15 UAB at South Carolina FSN 6 p.m. Sept. 15 Mississippi State at Troy ESPN3 6 p.m. Sept. 15 Florida Atlantic at Georgia CSS 6:30 p.m. Sept. 15 Idaho at LSU PPV 7 p.m.Sept. 15 Texas at Ole Miss ESPN 8:15 p.m.

Page 16: College Football Preview 2012


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