Tuesday, August 26, 2014  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Mississippi State ready to unveil fan experience-driven renovations at Davis Wade
Renovations at Mississippi State University's Davis Wade Stadium, from the installation of more than 6,000 additional seats down to the university's emblem on new elevator buttons, will be ready for Saturday's kickoff against Southern Miss., MSU Athletics Director Scott Stricklin says. "The on-campus experience at MSU, that's what we can sell," Stricklin said. "That's what touches everybody. One of the things we take seriously at athletics is we want to be the front porch of the university and attract as many people -- students, alumni and others -- as possible. The quality (of the renovations) will set the tone for what they can expect at our university. Even looking beyond our campus improvements and moving to The Mill at MSU and the new city hall, there's a lot happening in our community. It's definitely an exciting time to be here in Starkville and at MSU."
 
Mississippi State, NOAA, Liquid Robotics team to improve hurricane forecasting
A research project involving NOAA, Mississippi State and a California robotics company could improve future hurricane forecasting. Monday morning, they loaded unmanned surface vessels onto a research ship and will deploy those devices in the Gulf of Mexico. "We're going to deploy these in hurricanes when they enter the gulf. And we're going to see how well the platforms do, how well the measurements do, we're going to provide these to different scientists at NOAA to test how well they can improve the forecast systems," said Dr. Pat Fitzpatrick, an associate research professor at Mississippi State University.
 
Researchers enlisting help of robots in hopes of better forecasting strength of hurricanes
Researchers are hoping the use of unmanned robots in the Gulf of Mexico will provide them with the data needed to better forecast the strength of hurricanes and tropical storms as they approach the Gulf Coast. Monday morning, three Wave Gliders were loaded aboard the Tommy Munro at Point Cadet Marina for a roughly 20-mile trek into the gulf, where they will be lowered into the water by the boat's cranes. As the Wave Gliders cruise through the gulf, waiting for the next tropical storm or hurricane to form or enter the gulf, each will still be collecting other oceanographic data and transmitting it back to researchers. The project is a product of the Northern Gulf Institute, a partnership led by Mississippi State University.
 
MSU Assistant Geology Professor, Team Discover Methane Seeps in 'Unlikely' Spots
A Mississippi State University geologist is making waves in his field. MSU Assistant Professor of Geology Adam Skarke along with a team of scientists from the United States Geological Survey and other institutions discovered methane seeps along the seafloor in what they say are unlikely spots in the U.S. Atlantic margin. The group's scientific paper on the discovery was published online Sunday by the peer-reviewed journal Nature Geoscience. "I think this finding demonstrates that there's still much more to be discovered about the ocean, and that ocean exploration is a very important thing to pursue," Skarke said.
 
Methane Is Discovered Seeping From Seafloor Off East Coast, Scientists Say
Scientists have discovered methane gas bubbling from the seafloor in an unexpected place: off the East Coast of the United States where the continental shelf meets the deeper Atlantic Ocean. The methane is emanating from at least 570 locations, called seeps, from near Cape Hatteras, N.C., to the Georges Bank southeast of Nantucket, Mass. In a paper published online Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience, the scientists, including Adam Skarke of Mississippi State University and Carolyn Ruppel of the United States Geological Survey, reported evidence that the seepage had been going on for at least 1,000 years. "This is a large amount of methane seepage in an area we didn't expect," Dr. Skarke said.
 
MSU Store to Sell Local, Raw, Shelled Peanuts
Mississippi State University fans can cheer for a new food product this fall. The Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Sales Store on the MSU campus has added Bully's Peanuts to its line of products. The store will carry 5-pound bags and 5-pound boxes of Mississippi-grown, raw, shelled peanuts. "These peanuts are suitable for roasting, boiling, making peanut brittle or any other recipe that calls for peanuts," said Troy Weaver, MAFES Sales Store manager.
 
Soldiers learn to care for military dogs with help from MSU
There's no bond quite like the one between a dog and its owner. "No one's going to understand how your dog acts better than you," Keesler Air Force Base Military Working Dog Trainer Jeremy Hayes said. "When something bad happens, you need to take care of your dog." That's why soldiers from several different air force bases teamed up with the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine for some basic dog handler training. The basic training session taught the soldiers practical canine medical skills, like how to treat dehydration, how to give them CPR and how to bandage their wounds. "You know, you have just a couple seconds to minutes if a dog is crashing or if it's been injured or things like that," MSU Director of Veterinary Medical Technology Allison Gardner said.
 
New faculty welcomed to MSU-Meridian
MSU-Meridian welcomed the following new faculty and staff to campus last week at their annual back-to-school faculty/staff meeting: from left, Dr. Benjamin Wax, associate professor of kinesiology; Dr. Lisa Johnson, assistant professor of special education; Richard Anderson, network specialist; Laura Hilton, instructor of kinesiology; Dr. Joseph Faello, assistant professor of accounting; Dr. Yingge Qu, assistant professor of marketing; and Dr. Mark Fincher, assistant professor of community college leadership.
 
Parents: Synthetic LSD sends students to hospital
Starkville Police do not know whether the drug that caused the apparent overdose of Mississippi State University student and Madison native Parker Rodenbaugh is the same as the drug parents are saying is sending sending their college-age students to the hospital. WLBT reported Monday an unnamed physician as claiming that five MSU students have been admitted to hospitals in Jackson with similar symptoms. Mississippi State University issued a statement saying it had not been told by any physicians or law enforcement agencies that there have been five students treated for the drug. "Only one of the two students referenced in WLBT's weekend story is, in fact, a Mississippi State University student," the statement read. "...It's also important to note that none of the alleged activities cited in WLBT's report were alleged to have taken place on our campus."
 
Officials: Dangerous designer drug gaining popularity in Mississippi
Experts say a new synthetic drug similar to LSD is sweeping across the nation. Law enforcement said that powerful drug is already showing up in Mississippi. "This is something that's made by your basement chemist," Jackson DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Floyd H. Baker said. "You take that chance, in some cases, by what we've seen recently, with deaths in different states." State Crime Lab director Sam Howell said two years ago, synthetic LSD was nowhere to be found in Mississippi. Now they're seeing more instances of it now than ever before, through samples sent for analysis from law enforcement agencies around the state, he added.
 
Police chief: 1 arrest in West Point fight
The police chief of West Point said one man was arrested Monday and more arrests are expected in a weekend assault that hospitalized a 32-year-old former Marine. Courtez McMillian, 22, of Okolona, was jailed pending charges of aggravated assault, Police Chief Tim Brinkley said in a statement. Okolona is about 30 miles north of West Point, where events unfolded outside two restaurants early Saturday. Investigators are reviewing video footage from Saturday and have compiled a list of other possible suspects from a nearby county, Brinkley said. Ralph Weems IV of West Point remained in fair condition Monday, said Marsha Tapscott, a spokeswoman for North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo.
 
Mississippi test scores dip -- as expected -- in transition to Common Core
Student scores on a key state test fell in Mississippi schools in 2013-2014, a transitional year when school districts shifted teaching emphasis from old state standards to the new Common Core State Standards. Education officials say that while school districts adjusted instruction to the new Common Core State Standards, students were still tested under the old standards. Results released Tuesday by the Mississippi Department of Education show that scores on the Mississippi Curriculum Tests fell in almost all grades and subjects.
 
Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn plans listening tour
Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn will travel the state in late September to gather ideas for the 2015 legislative session, and he said he'd like to hear possible ways to improve education, health care and job creation. "I like to describe it as bringing the Legislature to the people," Gunn, R-Clinton, said in an interview Monday. "So many of them just don't have the time to get in the car, drive to Jackson, meet with legislators, discuss issues." House Democratic Leader Bobby Moak said in a separate interview Monday that Democrats in 2015 will push for teacher pay raises, a grocery tax cut and Medicaid expansion, which Democrats will promote as a way for Mississippi to collect federal money to help keep hospitals open.
 
Chris McDaniel: When does it stop?
The relentless campaign to overturn the results of a United States senate runoff election in Mississippi moved north of Stateline Road Monday night. About 100 people, many from DeSoto County, came to hear State Senator Chris McDaniel at Jason's Deli near Poplar and Highland. McDaniel is challenging the results of a June 24 runoff election against Senator Thad Cochran, where the incumbent won by 7,667 votes. McDaniel says many irregularities occurred in the runoff and that he's the real Republican nominee. At the event Monday, McDaniel passed a basket to help cover his legal fees.
 
Grain Piles Up, Waiting for a Ride, as Trains Move North Dakota Oil
The furious pace of energy exploration in North Dakota is creating a crisis for farmers whose grain shipments have been held up by a vast new movement of oil by rail, leading to millions of dollars in agricultural losses and slower production for breakfast cereal giants like General Mills. The backlog is only going to get worse, farmers said, as they prepared this week for what is expected to be a record crop of wheat and soybeans. Although the energy boom in North Dakota has led to a 2.8 percent unemployment rate, the lowest in the nation, the downside has been harder times for farmers who have long been mainstays of the state's economy.
 
U.S. Factories Keep Losing Ground to Global Rivals
America's shale boom has raised hopes of a revival in U.S. manufacturing, in part fueled by cheaper energy. But U.S. factories still are losing ground to rivals in Asia and Europe. Much of the problem stems from steel, trucks, car parts, industrial machinery and furniture. Without a strong, sustainable increase in exports, U.S. factories are unlikely to have the kind of resurgence forecast by some pundits. But achieving that growth is difficult as China and other countries have pursued aggressive export strategies and the U.S. has lost manufacturing skills and suppliers after shifting production overseas. China isn't the only country winning the battle.
 
New diversity director at Ole Miss
Shawnboda D. Mead, director for the new Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement at the university, wants to expand the definition of diversity to the students at Ole Miss. "My goal is not to change people's value systems," Mead said. "My goal is to increase awareness and to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for all students." Mead is a graduate from Mississippi State with a degree in educational psychology. She then went to Western Kentucky as a graduate student, where she got a master's degree in student affairs higher education. According to Brandi Hephner LaBanc, vice chancellor for student affairs, Mead is committed to getting students to come together from all different backgrounds.
 
Former UMMC employee sentenced after stealing patient info
A Jackson woman will spend 14 months behind bars for conspiracy to defraud the United States. 41-year-old Pamlia Johnson, a former employee of the University of Mississippi Medical Center, previously pleaded guilty to stealing patient's information and filing false tax returns. She will have to pay more than $82,000 in restitution.
 
USM Gulf Park greets students with Welcome Week
USM Gulf Park wants students to make a smooth transition to college and get them more involved in campus life. The campus is hosting a series of events to help students feel welcome. "The faces, it's so important not just for staff and faculty, but also to meet other students that are just like them. This campus is thriving with traditional and non-traditional students and they're able to relate to one another and meet one another in an environment that's comfortable for them," said Christy Elias the Student Affairs Interim Director.
 
Outdoor sculptures grace USM campus
Five internationally-known artists have been chosen to display their outdoor sculptures on the University of Southern Mississippi's campus. The first piece was installed Monday and the other four will follow over the next two weeks. The outdoor sculptures will remain on campus through February of 2016 for students and the community to enjoy. The artists will come from all over the country to install their pieces, speak with students. and give lectures. "This will be a great opportunity for folks to meet and talk to the actual artists and experience a unique arts engagement opportunity," said Jennifer Torres, art and design professor at USM.
 
LSU President F. King Alexander pushes federal scorecard for colleges
LSU President F. King Alexander continues to draw attention for his support of a proposed federal scorecard that would reward colleges and universities for providing better value to students. Bloomberg News describes Alexander as one of the most vocal proponents of President Barack Obama's proposal, which would rank based schools on tuition, student debt, graduation rates and the percentage of low-income students enrolled. Alexander and other supporters say the scorecard would mean more student-aid dollars would go to public schools and universities and away from lower-performing for-profit institutions. "Student aid won't be around in 10 years if we don't do something to distinguish the good guys from bad guys," Alexander told Bloomberg.
 
Louisiana institute looks to expand water research beyond state borders
In its first 2 1/2 years of existence, The Water Institute of the Gulf has focused primarily on coastal research in Louisiana, but in the long term, it's expected that view will expand far beyond the state borders. Chip Groat, president and chief executive officer of the Water Institute, told the Baton Rouge Press Club on Monday that the nonprofit, independent research group has been working with the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority to support planning by improving computer modeling on coastal processes, research on water and sediment flow in the Mississippi River and other river deltas. There were initial concerns the institute would go after money for research, coming at the expense of private business and university funding, Groat said. To the contrary, he said 41 percent of the money the institute gets goes out to the partnerships with business and university researchers.
 
UGA Science Learning Center groundbreaking to be held today
The University of Georgia will break ground on the 122,500-square-foot Science Learning Center today. The ceremony will include remarks from Gov. Nathan Deal, University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby, UGA President Jere Morehead and UGA student Lydia Babcock-Adams. The $44.7 million building's 33 instructional labs will be designed specifically for interactive learning in core undergraduate science courses. The Science Learning Center also will contain two 280-seat lecture halls and two 72-seat classrooms focused heavily on group-work class participation and technology.
 
UGA Institute of Higher Education launches 50th anniversary celebration year
The University of Georgia Institute of Higher Education will launch its 50th Anniversary with a celebratory reception 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Meigs Hall on UGA's North Campus. The celebration will include the reading of a proclamation issued by Gov. Nathan Deal noting the date as "Institute of Higher Education Day," in honor of the institute providing 50 years of "extraordinary educational service for Georgians." The anniversary year will round out with the 50th Anniversary Conference and Celebration scheduled for March 30-31 at the UGA Center for Continuing Education. In addition to bringing alumni back to campus, the conference will explore latest trends and best practices in the field of higher education.
 
U. of Arkansas Endowment Reaches All-Time High of $920.6M
The University of Arkansas announced its endowment holdings reached a record high of $920.6 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30. It's more then $100 million higher than the previous year's total of $818 million. "It's especially encouraging to see us nearing the $1 billion mark and making a nice recovery from the market declines everyone experienced in the late 2000s," Chris Wyrick, vice chancellor for university advancement, said in a news release. "More and more donors are choosing to allocate their contributions to endowed funds, because they understand the impact it will have over time."
 
Thousands settle into new year at U. of Florida
When Stephanie Rodriguez got off the bus and stepped onto the University of Florida for her first day of classes Monday, she said the campus seemed different. It was no longer the place where she lived, breathed and ate 24/7 as a freshman. Now, it is a place she commutes to from her own place off campus. "It definitely makes me feel more like a grown-up," she said. "I have responsibilities." An estimated 50,000 students started fall semester at UF on Monday. Students at UF were greeted by new construction projects, a new official mobile app with maps and other important information, and a safety app.
 
UF President Bernie Machen accepts ALS ice bucket challenge
A crowd gathered at Turlington Plaza on the first day of class Monday, making a loose knot around UF President Bernie Machen, who instead of his usual business suit was wearing a blue-striped short-sleeve Gator sport shirt, khaki pants and topsiders. Something was up. Machen ran down the sequence of events with staff to make sure he had the right order. "This is only going to happen once," he said. Machen announced he was accepting the ALS Association ice bucket challenge. And before you knew it, Machen was drenched in freezing water. He then called on Student Body President Cory Yeffet and David Kratzer, vice president for student affairs, to accept the ice bucket challenge.
 
Haslam's free community college plan and how Tennessee is grabbing spotlight in higher ed policy
Bill Haslam wasn't sold on the idea of two years of tuition-free community college when he first heard it, but it didn't take long to change his mind about the project. "They kind of pulled me along for the ride," he says during an interview this spring. "Some local business folks started pushing that, and then I saw how much it worked." People here say it's no surprise Haslam overcame skepticism to embrace an idea. They say the popular governor is pragmatic about pursuing strategies that work, even if he didn't come up with them or back them initially. And Haslam's decision to run with the idea for a community college scholarship wasn't the first time he checked his ego and followed the lead of others in higher education policy.
 
Silver treasure found in safe in U. of Kentucky storage room
A safe found earlier this year in the storage room in the Keeneland Hall dorm at the University of Kentucky had sat unopened, possibly for decades. By the time anyone thought to inquire about the combination, those with the information were long gone -- graduated, moved to other jobs, maybe even dead. "Everybody knew the safe was there, but nobody ever paid attention to it," said Ben Crutcher, UK's associate vice president for auxiliary services. A Pinkston's Locksmith employee was called in. Good at his job, he disabled the combination quickly. UK staff found -- to their jaw-dropping amazement -- 93 pieces of silver serve ware, a crystal ladle and a different era.
 
U. of South Carolina students issued third alert in less than a week after overnight armed robbery
University of South Carolina officials issued a third alert to students in less than a week after an armed robbery took place on the university's campus early Tuesday morning. Students received a message through the Carolina Alert system of an armed robbery that occurred at the intersection of Whaley and Main streets at 3:30 a.m. According to the alert, the victim was assaulted after the suspect demanded money from the victim. The alert described the suspect as a black male wearing all black clothing, a black knit hat and carrying a bat. This is the third alert issued to students in less than a week.
 
Pastides: USC to increase presence of police patrols on campus
Students at the University of South Carolina will be seeing an increased presence of police patrolling campus during the rest of the school year, according to President Harris Pastides. In a letter distributed Sunday to the university's 32,000 undergraduate and graduate students, Pastides said "beginning this week, we will provide additional police presence -- uniformed and plainclothes -- on campus." Pastides' comments came in the wake of at least three criminal incidents at the university within the past week. USC police will increase the number of patrols carried out during daytime and nighttime hours, Pastides said, though details about those patrols were not available Monday.
 
Texas A&M ranked among top five universities in the nation
Of 13 possible categories, it was the Aggie spirit of service that propelled it to a Top 5 ranking among national universities, editors from Washington Monthly magazine announced Monday. That's good news for the university, which will welcome more than 50,000 students to campus next week. Officials are touting it as the latest in a long line of recent accolades for Texas A&M. "Over the last few years, rankings such as this one by Washington Monthly and others, such as Money Magazine, have attempted to evaluate the return on investment and the impacts on community, state and nation by our faculty and students," said Karan Watson, Texas A&M Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.
 
U. of Missouri marks enrollment records on first day
A record number of students -- including a record tally of minority students -- attended the University of Missouri on Monday for the first day of the fall semester, according to university figures. The numbers include a record number of undergraduate students, international students and high-ability students, those with an ACT score of 30 or higher. There were 34,935 students enrolled, the most in MU's 175-year history. That's a 2.4 percent over last fall's enrollment of 34,111. The first day totals are preliminary and are expected to increase in the coming weeks, said Ann Korschgen, MU vice provost for enrollment management.
 
Change in Missouri refund policy brings students full reimbursment
University of Missouri students who drop classes before Sept. 2 will get 100 percent of the course fee refunded rather than the 90-percent refunds they used to get. The Registrar's Office, which handles all class scheduling, worked with the cashier and financial aid offices to push for the policy change. "It should eliminate the confusion we've had in the past," Registrar Brenda Selman said. "It gives students the opportunity to change their schedule early in the semester without financial penalty." Selman said students in the past asked a lot of questions about refunds and why they were being charged for dropping classes.
 
U. of Missouri professor experiments with crowd funding to finance research
University of Missouri scientist Susan Nagel had already found that groundwater near drilling sites where fracking was used had elevated levels of hormone-disrupting chemicals. Her research, published in the online peer-review journal Endocrinology, cited other research linking these chemicals to birth defects and infertility. The next step was to identify specific hormone disruptors in the water, develop methods to measure these chemicals in human urine and blood, and identify potential health trends associated with the chemicals used in fracking -- a process that injects fluids into the ground under pressure to fracture rock and extract oil and natural gas. Nagel, an associate professor at MU School of Medicine, turned to crowd funding to continue her research after deciding she couldn't afford the time-consuming process of waiting for federal grants.
 
Beloit releases annual student 'mindset list'
As the academic year starts, Beloit College has each August since 1998 released a "mindset list" to remind professors and administrators that their experiences are very different from those of the students who are starting off in higher ed (at least those who are coming straight from high school). The list typically captures headlines (and has drawn some criticism) over the years. Here are some selections form this year's list...
 
How Professors in St. Louis Are Teaching the Lessons of Ferguson's Unrest
As college students return to classrooms in St. Louis this week, many will find that lesson plans have been hastily revised to include sensitive issues of race and policing that were ignited by the fatal shooting on August 9 of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer in the suburb of Ferguson, Mo. On Monday, as thousands of mourners gathered nearby for Michael Brown's funeral, area college students were engaging in conversations about racial profiling, the use of force, and tensions caused by economic disparities. The links were obvious in fields like criminal justice and sociology. But faculty members in education, English, history, and a wide range of other disciplines also saw teaching opportunities in a tragedy that has gripped the nation.
 
Turnitin And The Debate Over Anti-Plagiarism Software
Students are heading back to campus. And when they finish writing that first paper of the year, a growing number will have to do something their parents never did: run their work through anti-plagiarism software. Tom Dee is a professor in the graduate school of education at Stanford. A few years ago, he co-authored a study exploring why students plagiarize. "It's not necessarily bad intent," Dee says. "It's just bad practices." When Dee's team gave one group of students an early tutorial on what is and is not plagiarism, it saw "a substantial reduction in plagiarism," he says. The fact that anti-plagiarism software can't tell the difference between accidental and intentional plagiarism is just one reason that Rebecca Moore Howard, a professor of writing and rhetoric at Syracuse University, is not a fan. Here's another reason: "The use of a plagiarism-detecting service implicitly positions teachers and students in an adversarial position," Howard says.
 
CHARLIE MITCHELL (OPINION): If 'shall' means 'shall,' Musgrove says he'll win
Longtime Mississippi journalist Charlie Mitchell writes: "The school funds lawsuit former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove is spearheading isn't complicated. It's simple litigation -- a petition for a declaratory judgment. He and a cohort of attorneys will ask the court what 'shall' means. If it means 'must' or 'not optional,' then the Legislature may have to cough up $1.5 billion for K-12 education. That's the amount, Musgrove says, schools were shorted -- cash schools would have received had the Legislature followed the 'shall' it put in Mississippi Adequate Education Plan legislation. Musgrove says 'shall' constitutes an irrevocable promise that lawmakers made to school children and even if they change the statute going forward, they still owe what was promised and has not been delivered. ...There are no class action lawsuits in Mississippi, so districts must decide individually whether to seek the back payments. Word is that's not going so well."


SPORTS
 
Game week finally here for Mississippi State, Southern Miss
For the first time in 24 years, game week leading to a showdown against in-state rival Southern Mississippi has arrived for Mississippi State's football team. That's one of the storylines for MSU's 2014 season opener, which is now a few days away. In addition to renewing a rivalry that has been dormant since 1990, the Bulldogs also will open a landmark expansion of Davis Wade Stadium with a team that returns 18 starters and faces its highest preseason expectations in six seasons under coach Dan Mullen. To say excitement is high in Starkville this week would be an understatement. "It's a fun time of the year," said Mullen. Mullen, who had just arrived at MSU when the series was announced, is a fan of renewing the matchup with USM.
 
Mississippi State switches focus to Southern Miss
Jameon Lewis felt different when he woke up Monday. It was the fourth Monday of fall camp, and this one had an extra special meaning to it. "It's that mindset you have to turn that switch," Lewis said. "It's game week. You really just have to focus. It's all about your focus." Mississippi State began game preparation for its season-opener against Southern Miss at Davis-Wade Stadium (6:30 p.m., Saturday). The two meet for the first time since 1990. Only one Bulldog on the roster -- Rashun Dixon -- was alive when the two teams last played. "When you have a veteran team, they're fired up to get back in their game preparation more than fired up into 'Holy cow I get to play in a game tomorrow,'" MSU coach Dan Mullen said.
 
Bulldogs embrace rivalries
Mississippi State has embraced facing its in-state brethren in non-conference action since Dan Mullen arrived in 2009. The Bulldogs have defeated Jackson State and Alcorn State twice under Mullen and even had a contest scheduled last season with Mississippi Valley State, which later had to be cancelled due to the Delta Devils not meeting financial aid guidelines. But Saturday's season-opener against Southern Miss will raise the stakes for MSU. The two teams have not met since 1990, when the Bulldogs pulled out a 13-10 victory in Starkville following a 41-yard field goal by Joel Logan with 3:01 remaining.
 
Mullen excited about renewing rivalry with USM
After meeting for nearly every year between 1964-1990, Mississippi State meets Southern Miss on Saturday night on the gridiron for the first time in 24 seasons. While MSU enters its 100th year playing at Davis Wade Stadium and opens the season in its newly-expanded stadium, coach Dan Mullen, who was entering his freshman year at Ursinus College the last time the two squads faced off, said playing the Golden Eagles was the best way to kick off a highly-anticipated season. "There's going to be a lot of things going on, and to do that with a rivalry game against a team in Southern Miss, I know it means a lot to the people in the state," he said.
 
Bulldogs name captains
Mississippi State has announced its team captains for the 2014 season. Seniors Malcolm Johnson, Dillon Day and Jay Hughes received the honor after a team vote. The trio has started 39 career games and brings 98 games of leadership experience overall. "They're all fifth-year seniors and all committed to the program," said MSU coach Dan Mullen.
 
Justin Malone to start at guard for Bulldogs, right tackle still undecided
Mississippi State released its week one depth chart on Monday. The only changes from the preseason depth chart came in the trenches. Justin Malone will start at right guard for the second straight season. The junior started last year but broke his leg in the season-opener and missed the final 12 games. He was originally listed at right tackle in the media guide. Justin Senior and Rufus Warren will compete this week in practice for the opening at right tackle. "They're battling it out and we're going to let all that go this week," MSU coach Dan Mullen said. "You have to be prepared for all different scenarios now."
 
Eagles taking level-headed approach to Mississippi State
Markese Triplett grew up a short half-hour's drive from Starkville. It would be reasonable to assume most football players in such close proximity to Mississippi State have seen the Bulldogs in action more often than others. But Saturday's football season opener for the Golden Eagles will be just the second time the Louisville native has ever stepped foot inside Davis-Wade Stadium. For that reason, Triplett said the first meeting between Southern Miss and Mississippi State since 1990 will be just like any other season opener for him. "I can't speak for the whole team, but it doesn't matter if we play Mississippi State or whoever," he said at the team's weekly press conference on Monday. "We're just ready to play somebody else."
 
Southern Miss coach praises Mississippi State talent, coaching staff
After Southern Miss coach Todd Monken said in July that "There's nothing better than shutting up a cowbell," the tone was much more low key in his Monday press conference discussing Saturday's 6:30 p.m. season opener at Mississippi State. Monken lauded the MSU football team for its talent, coaching staff and return to winning ways. USM linebacker Alan Howze was the only participant in Monday's press conference who showed any level of contempt toward the in-state rival. When asked what he took away from the one football game he attended in Starkville, the redshirt senior answered, "The annoying cowbells."
 
Doctor: Wilbanks' death unpreventable, freak occurrence
Jackson Prep football player Walker Wilbanks died from a severe loss of sodium that caused water to build up on his brain, his doctor said late Monday. Joe Pressler, the high school junior's lead physician at University of Mississippi Medical Center, said the sodium-water imbalance caused Wilbanks' brain to swell, which led to his death. Pressler said Wilbanks died at 12:42 p.m. Monday The loss of sodium was caused by Wilbanks' sweating during the game. He lost more sodium than was being replenished as the player tried to rehydrate on the sidelines. As the sodium levels dropped, water shifted from Wilbanks' blood to his brain. Pressler said he spoke to the media because Wilbanks' family did not want misinformation to prevent parents from letting their children participate in sporting activities or to change their approach to dealing with heat and exhaustion.



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