Alcorn vs. Jackson State
Photo: Alcorn State Athletics

For years, Alcorn State and Jackson State battled for East Division supremacy in what annually was the biggest, most intense game in the state of Mississippi.

The current version of the rivalry this season will feature a new level of energy and, like in most years, something on the line.

Jackson State, which clinched the East with a victory at Southern, can complete a perfect regular season and wrap up home-field advantage in the SWAC championship game on Dec. 4.

Also read:  Alcorn State motivated to get its SWAC championship back

Alcorn State with a win can keep its chances for a West Division championship alive for at least one week while first-place Prairie View plays an unusual road game at No. 16 FBS-ranked Texas A&M.

Both schools have something to play for beyond the usual particulars that come with the rivalry.

Fred McNair, Alcorn State
Photo: Alcorn State Athletics

“You don’t have to say too much,” said Alcorn head coach Fred McNair, who is 3-1 all-time versus Jackson State. “They (the players) know how intense the game and fans are going to be.”

Saturday will also mark the introduction of Deion Sanders to the game, who didn’t get the opportunity to coach against the Braves this past spring after Alcorn State decided to opt-out because of COVID-19 concerns.

“As long as we’re in between the lines and there is a film guy up there filming, we’re serious,” said Sanders. “Every time we take the field, we aim to win and we aim to be dominant.”

Photo: Jackson State Athletics

McNair isn’t viewing the game as a battle between himself and Sanders, however.

“We have to match their intensity,” McNair said. “We’re not going to play Deion. Our mindset is to play a 60-minute game, not who is on the sideline.”



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