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.
“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.”
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.”