Jackson State and Alabama A&M are set to tangle again on Saturday in the Gulf Coast Challenge.
The game is a highly anticipated matchup, with potential implications that could determine the SWAC East representative in the conference championship game. But for at least one of the participants, the game may hold even a higher degree of significance.
Before Alabama A&M quarterback Quincy Casey donned the Bulldogs’ maroon and white, the Memphis native called Jackson State home for the first years of his collegiate career.
Alabama A&M coach Connell Maynor said on the SWAC football coaches’ media call earlier this week that while he doesn’t know Casey’s motivations for Saturday, he anticipates the matchup will have extra meaning.
“I can’t read minds, but he’s going to want this game a bit more than everyone else because he came from Jackson,” said Maynor.
In 11 games at Jackson State, Casey threw for 1,113 yards, four touchdowns, and nine interceptions. His best overall performance came in the spring 2021 season when he went 30-of-47 for 323 yards and four TDs in a 52-43 shootout loss to the Bulldogs.
Maynor wants Casey to keep things in their proper perspective and offered a stern warning to his quarterback.
“I know it’s Jackson, but it’s the next game and the biggest game of the season because it’s the next game, not because of Jackson. He has to continue to play the way he’s been playing, making his reads [and] taking what the defense is giving you.
If you start playing outside of yourself, you will be standing beside me. I’m not going with this hero stuff. You’re not going to make this personal. You’re going to play this game just like you have played the last two [games], or you will be beside me [on the sideline].”
If Casey can sustain or elevate his level of play, he will not have to worry about watching the game next to his coach.
The redshirt junior has found a rhythm over the past two games, completing 44-of-60 pass attempts for 624 yards. In a recent two-game stretch, Casey has also thrown all seven of his touchdowns on the season.
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