Itawamba AHS (0-0) at Ripley (0-0)
THE BUZZ: IAHS will get a live look at new running backs Quamayne Shumpert and Javonte Stegall, two guys trying to ease the transition from Ashton Shumpert and Charles Moore. … Ripley moves up to Class 4A this season and will see what a large and seasoned offensive line can do. … Both teams are testing out new QBs, sophomore Vijay Miller for IAHS and Dalton James and C.J. Johnson for Ripley. … Last played in 2010, a 28-13 Itawamba win at Ripley. JOURNAL PICK: Ripley.
Jackson Prep (0-0) at Oxford (0-0)
THE BUZZ: Oxford is coming into one of its most anticipated seasons and has a stable of sophomore talent ready to see what they can do when the lights come on. … Prep, which has 91 players on its roster, is replacing QB Ryan Buchanan, who threw for 1,500 yards and 21 TDs and signed with Ole Miss. … Both head coaches, Oxford’s Johnny Hill and Prep’s Ricky Black, are former Tupelo coaches.
JOURNAL PICK: Oxford
Lafayette (0-0) at Tupelo (0-0)
THE BUZZ: New Tupelo coach Trent Hammond liked the speed of his defense in Friday’s jamboree at IAHS. Offensively, the Golden Wave scored on a 62-yard TD pass and Justin Clifton had a 40-yard pick-6. … The Wave D will have to keep that speed up trying to chase D.K. Buford, an Ole Miss commit, who had 1,448 all-purpose yards and 16 TDs last season. … Lafayette has won the last two meetings, last season’s 8-3 win at Lafayette much closer than the 40-11 win for the back-to-back 4A champs two seasons ago.
JOURNAL PICK: Tupelo
Nettleton (0-0) at Baldwyn (0-0)
THE BUZZ: Nettleton has fourth-year starting QB Dakota Cruber back, plus his top two receivers back in Levert Jernigan and Jeremy Cook, all seniors. … Baldwyn has a returning senior QB in Corbin Scott, but also plans to use sophomore Duke Upshaw on a lot of snaps. Ratio will be interesting to watch. … Baldwyn won 21-14 last season at Nettleton and has won two of the last three meetings.
JOURNAL PICK: Baldwyn
North Pontotoc (0-0) at Bruce (0-0)
THE BUZZ: North Pontotoc is back in Class 3A for the first time since 2008. … Vikings WR Marcus Green, a Louisiana-Monroe commit, had two TDs in a jamboree game against Saltillo, one a 51-yard catch-and-run. … Bruce lost 16 seniors from a team that grew into a Class 2A contender. One returner, Donta Armstrong goes from 1,000-yard receiver to QB. Latrell Marks and Jay Johnson get their chances to be the go-to guys at WR.
JOURNAL PICK: North Pontotoc
Pontotoc (0-0) at Houston (0-0)
THE BUZZ: Houston is coming off the best season in school history, the first team to win 11 games and the first team to make the playoffs. But the QB and top three tacklers are gone, seven to college football, DE Chris Jones to Mississippi State. … Pontotoc has a new coach in Scott Brown, nine new starters in a spread option offense and likely a freshman QB. … The teams last met in 2010. Pontotoc won that meeting 44-13 at home.
JOURNAL PICK: Houston
Shannon (0-0) at Aberdeen (0-0)
THE BUZZ: Shannon lost a pair of key transfers in quarterback John Thomas Peugh to Mooreville and 1,600-yard RB Diamante Pounds to Saltillo. … Shannon senior Kendall Cox returns under center after missing the entire 2012 season with a torn ACL. WR Chavis Dilworth should have a big season for the Red Raiders. … Aberdeen has some new names in skill spots, but a fourth-year starting QB in Josh Williams. His receiving corp is expected to be explosive. … Aberdeen has won this meeting the last two seasons, 26-13 at Shannon last year.
JOURNAL PICK: Shannon
Tishomingo County (0-0) at Mooreville (0-0)
THE BUZZ: Tishomingo needs its OL to catch up with QB Blake Hawkins and an improved set of skill position players. We’ll see how far that goal has come along in practice. … Mooreville’s defense is the team’s more experienced unit. … The Troopers had a good problem in the preseason, two good QB options in Shannon transfer John Thomas Peugh and sophomore Tay Rucker. … This will be the first meeting between the two schools.
JOURNAL PICK: Mooreville
Alcorn Central (0-0) at Biggersville (0-0)
THE BUZZ: Experienced A.C. offensive line gets its first test in an county matchup. Biggersville’s fielding quicker and more athletic team than last season. … Both teams missed the playoffs last season. … Alcorn Central won last year’s meeting 36-22 at home.
JOURNAL PICK: Biggersville
Belmont (0-0) at Smithville (0-0)
THE BUZZ: Baseball standout and MSU commit Luke Alexander will be under center for Belmont. … Smithville QB Drew Lann starts for third straight season.
JOURNAL PICK: Smithville
Booneville (0-0) at Walnut (0-0)
THE BUZZ: Booneville QB Jack Simpson is a junior with a year of starting experience. … Former Walnut RB-WR Armani Linton is back as a junior after playing last season in Louisiana. … Booneville won 25-15 last season.
JOURNAL PICK: Booneville
Byhalia (0-0) at Holly Springs (0-0)
THE BUZZ: Holly Springs RB Ronnell Boyland moves from QB. … Byhalia LB Curtis Atkins has offers from Southern Miss, Memphis and Middle Tennessee. … Byhalia won 38-6 last season.
JOURNAL PICK: Byhalia
Corinth (0-0) at Kossuth (0-0)
THE BUZZ: One of two Alcorn County matchups this week … Kossuth is just a year removed from a 12-1 team. … Sophomore Antares Gwyn will get his first shot at QB for Corinth. … Corinth won 34-7 last season.
JOURNAL PICK: Corinth
Desoto Central (0-0) at Saltillo (0-0)
THE BUZZ: Saltillo is coming off its first-ever Class 5A playoff appearance. … Saltillo RB Diamante Pounds had a 58-yard TD run in last week’s jamboree. … DeSoto Central OL Tyler Putnam is an Ole Miss commit.
JOURNAL PICK: Saltillo
Falkner (0-0) at Middleton (Tenn.) (0-0)
THE BUZZ: Falkner RB Jeramie Lawrence had 1,800 last season and the Eagles are going to open up the offense this year. … Middleton won three games last season, all against Mississippi teams. … Falkner won 34-13 last season.
JOURNAL PICK: Falkner
Hartfield (0-0) at Oak Hill Academy (0-0)
THE BUZZ: Hartfield won its opening game last season and lost nine straight. … Oak Hill’s six wins in 2012 matched its win total for the last three seasons.
JOURNAL PICK: Oak Hill
Hatley (0-0) at South Pontotoc (0-0)
THE BUZZ: Hatley, 0-11 last season, has a new coach, HHS graduate Patrick Schoolar. … South Pontotoc has a new starting QB in sophomore Wesley Ross. … Teams combined for one win last season, South’s win over Ethel.
JOURNAL PICK: Hatley
Houlka (0-0) at East Union (0-0)
THE BUZZ: Houlka RB James Buggs was on a 1,200-yard pace before an injury sidelined him four games in. … East Union starting it first season as a member of Division 1-2A.
JOURNAL PICK: East Union
Humphreys (0-0) at Calhoun Academy (0-0)
THE BUZZ: Calhoun Academy (11-2)came within two points of winning a state 8-man championship. … Humphreys had at least 34 points in each of its six wins last season.
JOURNAL PICK: Calhoun Academy
H.W. Byers (0-0) at Benton County (0-0)
THE BUZZ: Co-op Benton County played mostly junior varsity games last season. … H.W. Byers junior RB Marquis Moore has rushed for 1,000 yards in each of the last two seasons.
JOURNAL PICK: Holly Springs
Independence (0-0) at Amory (0-0)
THE BUZZ: Amory has a new coach, Ben Ashley, and five new receivers for second-year starting QB Jon David Poss. … Independence, 0-11 last season, is playing for a new coach in former Water Valley defensive coordinator Richard Russo. … Amory is beginning its 100th year for football.
JOURNAL PICK: Amory
Mantachie (0-0) at Ethel (0-0)
THE BUZZ: Mantachie is in its second season under coach Lynn Moore and will again try to spread out their opponents. … Mantachie is the only Journal area team on Ethel’s schedule. … Mantachie moves back into 2A after the last two seasons in 3A.
JOURNAL PICK: Mantachie
Marshall Academy (0-0) at Kirk Academy (0-0)
THE BUZZ: Marshall is coming off a AA state championship appearance. …The Patriots return QB Dakota Dailey, who passed for 2,400 yards and rushed for 965 last season. … Marshall won 52-13 last season at home.
JOURNAL PICK: Marshall
New Site (0-0) at Thrasher (0-0)
THE BUZZ: New Site, 0-7 last year, has 32 players on its roster, double what it got down to two seasons ago. … New Site had defensive trouble last season and Thrasher has a strength in its offensive line.
JOURNAL PICK: Thrasher
Okolona (0-0) at East Oktibbeha (0-0) – Cancelled
Potts Camp (0-0) at Hamilton (0-0)
THE BUZZ: Hamilton welcomes back QB Quinshay Heard, who missed most of the season after separating his shoulder in Week 3. … Potts Camp moves into Division 2-2A this season after going 9-1 as an independent last season.
JOURNAL PICK: Hamilton
Starkville (0-0) at Noxubee County (0-0)
THE BUZZ: Battle of defending state champions, Starkville in Class 5A, Noxubee in Class 4A. … Starkville is now in Class 6A. … Both lost huge produces in Starkville QB Gabe Myles and Noxubee RB Darrell Robinson.
JOURNAL PICK: Starkville
Starkville Academy (0-0) at Lamar (0-0)
THE BUZZ: Starkville Academy senior K Jonathan Burton is drawing some D-I looks. … Lamar scored at least 35 points in 8 of its 9 wins last season. … Teams did not play last season.
JOURNAL PICK: Lamar
Vardaman (0-0) at East Webster (0-0)
THE BUZZ: Vardaman has a new coach in Larry Gann. … East Webster QB/TB Deangelo Liggins is a 1,000-yard rusher getting some D-I attention. … East Webster won 30-14 last season at home.
JOURNAL PICK: Vardaman
Water Valley (0-0) at New Albany (0-0)
THE BUZZ: New Albany has to replace its backfield of QB Spencer Day and RB Boston Newsome. … Water Valley’s EJ and Brandon Bounds rushed for a combined 1,457 yards and 21 TDs last season. … New Albany finished last season 6-1.
JOURNAL PICK: New Albany
Compiled by Brandon Speck