By Robert Wilson


            Dillon Johnson was putting on a show a year ago for Greenville St. Joseph in the MAIS Class 3A state championship game at Jackson Academy. The then 6-foot, 196-pound senior running back-linebacker ran for 166 yards on nine carries and scored two touchdowns, had eight tackles and intercepted a pass to lead Greenville St. Joe to a 55-24 victory over Indianola Academy for his third straight state title and also the Fighting Irish’s 24th consecutive victory. 

            Now, Johnson is scoring touchdowns for Mississippi State. Since returning starter Kylin Hill decided to opt out of the season, Johnson is seeing more playing time along with freshman Jo’Quavious Marks and sophomore Lee Robertson. 

            Johnson has played in six games and is one of nine true freshmen at MSU who have played. Johnson is the only player on the team with two rushing touchdowns. He scored one against Arkansas and ran for a 4-yard TD to give MSU a 14-0 lead in the first quarter against Vanderbilt two weeks ago. 

            Johnson has 14 carries for 51 yards and caught 16 passes for 63 yards in Mike Leach’s passing dominated offense. He should get more touches this week when MSU, 2-4, visits No. 13 Georgia, 4-2, Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on the SEC Network.

            Johnson was dominant in high school where he was coached by John Baker. He gained 1,668 yards and scored 24 TDs as a senior and 1,665 yards, passed for 957 yards, had 126 tackles and three interceptions and accounted for 20 TDs as a junior. He also scored a school-record 53 points in basketball.  Johnson was ranked No. 11 in the state by Rivals and was a Clarion-Ledger Dandy Dozen.


            Ole Miss junior wide receiver Elijah Moore has been added to the Maxwell Award watch list this week, the award presented to the most outstanding collegiate football player in the country. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow won the award last year.  There have been 11 SEC players to receive the award, including Ole Miss quarterback Eli Manning in 2003, since the award began in 1937. Four SEC players have won the award in the last seven seasons, Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron (2013), Alabama running back Derrick Henry (2015), Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (2018) and Burrow last season. Other notable SEC players to win the award are Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning (1997) and Georgia running back Herschel Walker (1982). 

            Moore leads the country in receptions (74) and receiving yards (1,054). He has more yards in the first seven games than any other receiver in SEC history. Moore ranks fourth in the country with eight TD catches and 14th in all-purpose yards per game (159.3). He has caught 10 or more passes in six of the seven games this season. Moore is the first player in Ole Miss to catch 10 or more passes in four consecutive games. He is the only player in school history to have three 200 receiving yards in a career. 

            Ole Miss’ game this Saturday with Texas A&M was postponed. Ole Miss’ next game is next Saturday in the Egg Bowl against Mississippi State in Oxford (3 p.m. on SEC Network). 


            LSU coach Ed Orgeron said Wednesday that junior quarterback Myles Brennan, a St. Stanislaus High alumnus, is probably out for the season.

            “We’re looking at the injury and seeing if he can come back through rehab or if the best thing would be to go through an operation that would help him out,” Orgeron said. “We haven’t made a final decision, but it doesn’t look like he’ll be back unless something miraculous happens.”

            Brennan suffered a torn abdomen against Missouri Oct. 10. Brennan had passed for 1,112 yards and 11 TDs in three games this season. Brennan, Mississippi’s career passing yards leader, had the greatest debut of any quarterback in LSU history against MSU in the season opener. He completed 27 of 46 passes for 346 yards and two TDs in a 44-34 loss.