Saturday, November 5, 2016
JACKSON, Mississippi -- It’s easy to see there will be a lot on the line when Jackson State and Alabama State kick off a key SWAC East matchup Saturday in Montgomery, Alabama.
There’s positioning in the SWAC East, in which the Tigers (3-5, 3-3 SWAC) are currently tied for the lead with rival Alcorn State. At this point, a loss puts either team at a serious disadvantage in the race for a berth in the conference championship.
But perhaps the bigger factor for JSU is a shot at revenge for last year’s 17-12 loss at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
“I remember that game as cold. Cold and sloppy,” sophomore linebacker Shawn Bishop said. “We would make a play on defense, then they’d come back and make a play. Then, we’d answer right back. In the end, it came down to us making one mistake.”
That one mistake was giving up a touchdown on a deflected pass from Ellis Richardson to DeMario Bell on fourth-and-11 early in the fourth quarter.
But Alabama State (2-6, 2-5) is a much different team this year. The Hornets have already lost as many games as they did all last year, with their only wins coming against Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Mississippi Valley State — two teams with a combined 1-15 record.