When Alcorn State runs

Marquis Warford returns as Alcorn’s leading rusher at running back, tallying 442 yards on 11.6 yards per attempt. First-year starting quarterback Lenorris Footman adds to the strength of the running back. The junior rushed for 1,023 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. Before the Week 1 game versus Bethune-Cookman was cancelled due to inclement weather, Footman was successful moving the ball just as efficiently with his legs as his right arm.

Advantage: Alcorn State

When Alcorn State passes

Footman completed less than 50 percent of his passes last year in relief of John Gibbs Jr. If he can improve as a passer, he presents a challenge for opposing defenses. Alabama State allowed 287 yards passing in its 26-13 loss to the University of Texas at San Antonio. But the Hornets defense was solid last season, which ranked fifth in pass defense.

Advantage: Even

When Alabama State passes

Jujuan Young-Battle started for the Hornets last Saturday against UTSA completing 11-of-18 passes for 102 yards. It was backup QB Quinterris Toppings who threw the Hornets lone touchdown pass. He went 2-of-5 for 40 yards against the Roadrunners.

Advantage: Even

When Alabama State runs

Led by Khalid Thomas’ 93 yards on 7.8 yards per rush, the Hornets rushed for 145 yards on 37 attempts in split carries among six other rushers. Alabama State faces an Alcorn State rush defense that was among the best in the SWAC last season.

Advantage: Alcorn State

Special teams …

Neither team has a particularly strong unit, especially in the kicking game. Alcorn State kicker Haiden McCraney was just 3-of-10 on field goals last season. For Alabama State, David Albert did not attempt a field goal last week against UTSA, though he made his only extra point try.

Coaching …

Fred McNair might have most talent among the teams, but Brian Jenkins has the most experience between the two. If their opening week performance against UTSA is any indication, the Hornets should perform better in Jenkins’ second season at the helm.

Advantage: Alabama State

Outcome: Alcorn 27-21


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