Jackson State and the Alcorn State Braves meet for the 74th time on Saturday. The JSU Tigers come into the contest on a seven game winning streak. The Tigers have already won the SWAC East Division title and clinched a berth into the SWAC Championship game at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. The Tigers lead the series 43-28-2 against the Braves. JSU has won the last three games of the series, including last year’s contest which was played in Lorman, MS (for the first time in 13 years). Although the Tigers have secured a spot in the SWAC Championship game, JSU is seeking a perfect conference record.
HEAD COACH RICK COMEGY:
Jackson State head coach Rick Comegy (Millersville, ‘76) enters his eighth season at the helm of the Tigers’ football program. He comes into the game with a 56-34 overall record at JSU and a 164-84 career record. Over the previous seven seasons, Comegy has led the Tigers to six winning seasons, three Southwestern Athletic Conference Eastern Division titles and one SWAC championship. Last season the Tigers fell just short of claiming a second SWAC championship by falling 24-21 in OT to Arkansas Pine Bluff in the conference title game at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala. Prior to coming to Jackson State, Comegy was the head coach at Tuskegee University where he won four Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships (NCAA D-II), three Pioneer Bowl crowns and a Black College National Championship (2000). In 2000 his Tuskegee Tigers recorded a perfect 12-0 record. Since coming to JSU Comegy has a 5-2 record against Alcorn St.
SCOUTING ALCORN STATE:
The Alcorn State Braves come into Saturday’s game with an 8-3 overall record and a 6-2 conference mark. The Braves have scored 393 points this season and has allowed 261. The Braves are led by quarterback John Gibbs who has recorded 2292 passing yards and 18 touchdowns. To date, he has completed 56.8% of his pass attempts and is averaging 208.4 passing yards per game. Arnold Walker is the leading rusher on the team with 1104 yards and 14 touchdowns. He averages 100.4 yards per game. Tollette George is the team’s leading receiver. He has 49 receptions for 598 yards and two touchdowns. Devon Francois is the defensive leader for Alcorn State. He has 82 tackles, a tackle for loss and two interceptions.
ALCORN STATE HEAD COACH: JAY HOPSON
Jay Hopson enters his second season as the head football coach at Alcorn State. Hopson came to Alcorn State from the University of Memphis where he served as the defensive coordinator. Before going to Memphis, he was the linebackers coach at Michigan. Under Hopson, three of the top five tacklers for the 2009 season were Stevie Brown, Obi Ezeh and Jonas Mouton. Ezeh was a semifinalist for the Butkus Award that season. He also had two stints at Southern Miss. Prior to Michigan he spent three seasons as defensive coordinator and defensive backs and middle linebackers coach at USM from 2005-2007. In 2007, he was named the All-American Football Foundation Top Assistant Coach. While at USM, the Golden Eagles participated in three bowl games: the 2005 New Orleans Bowl, 2006 GMAC Bowl and the 2007 Papajohns.com Bowl. During his career, Hopson has coached numerous all-conference players and three All-Americans. Two of his players have been nominated for the Jim Thorpe Award and two of his players were named to the Sports Illustrated All-Bowl Team.
Jackson State returns to action on Dec. 7 when the Tigers and the Southern Jaguars square off for the 2013 Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Kickoff is set for 12 pm and the game will be broadcast on ESPNU.
The JSU vs. Alcorn football game will be video streamed live at jsums.edu