MSU President Mark Keenum, left, shakes the hand of former head football coach Jackie Sherrill, who was inducted into the Mississippi State Hall of Fame on Saturday. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
By DANNY P. SMITH
Kirby Jackson's smile said it all on Saturday morning.
Jackson was certainly enjoying the moment as he was introduced to the crowd at Davis Wade Stadium.
The former Sturgis High School and Mississippi State football player was recognized as the honorary captain prior to kickoff between the Bulldogs and the South Carolina Gamecocks.
"It's an honor for the school to make me an honorary captain so I'm real excited about it," Jackson said.
Jackson spent his day signing autographs, took photos with fans, was interviewed on the network pre-game radio show and interacted with the team.
After his high school career at Sturgis, Jackson played at MSU from 1983-86 and finished with five career interceptions.
Jackson calls the opportunity of playing for the Bulldogs a dream come true.
"I grew up watching Mississippi State all the time so to have the opportunity to play for them was exciting for me," Jackson said. "I embrace that. As soon as they offered a scholarship, I turned down other schools and jumped on them right away.
"It worked out good for me. I got a chance to play and started for 3 1/2 years here. I took what they taught me and it led me to the NFL. I'm grateful for Mississippi State. I'm a follower now and come to games all of the time."
Jackson was drafted in the fifth round with the 129th pick by the New York Jets. After a brief stint with the Los Angeles Rams, he played for the Buffalo Bills from 1987-93 and finished his career with the Seattle Seahawks in 1993-94.
Jackson has a home in Atlanta, but his mom still lives in Sturgis.
"I come back all of the time to visit mom so this is still home for me," Jackson said.
Banks picks another
MSU junior cornerback Johnthan Banks, a former player at East Webster, had a second-quarter interception to give him 12 this season.
Banks moved into a tie with Derek Pegues (2005-08) and Izell McGill (1994-97) for the second-most career picks in school history. His five interceptions this season are second nationally behind David Amerson of North Carolina State. Amerson has six thefts.
As a team, the Bulldogs intercepted a pass in their 12th-straight game, the longest streak since they picked off a pass in 14-straight games from Sept. 4, 1999-Sept. 14, 2000.
MSU's streak of not allowing an offensive touchdown ended at seven quarters when South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore scored from 4 yards out with 6:21 left in the second quarter.
It was the longest such streak since Sept. 11-Oct. 2, 1999 when the Bulldogs held offenses without an offensive touchdown for 11-straight quarters.
The 17 points allowed over the last two games for MSU is the lowest over a two-game span since Sept. 6-13, 2008, when it gave up a combined 13 to Southeastern Louisiana and Auburn.
Hall of Fame class
The latest class of the Mississippi State Sports Hall of Fame were officially inducted during ceremonies during Saturday's game.
Three members of the class were Jackie Sherrill, the all-time winningest coach from 1991-2003; Jeff Malone, basketball player from 1980-83; and tennis player from 1965-68 Hugh Thomson.
In four conference games, junior linebacker Cameron Lawrence is averaging 10.75 tackles per game (43 total tackles). ...Â Sophomore safety Nickoe Whitley tied a career-high with seven total tackles. ... Junior wide receiver Arceto Clark caught four passes or more for the third-consecutive game, the longest streak of his career. ... Redshirt freshman tight end Malcolm Johnson had a career-best 51 yards on two catches. ... The MSU players wore towels, gloves and cleats with pink on them to promote breast cancer awareness.
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