Eight points separate Alcorn State from being unbeaten in the SWAC.
The Braves (7-3, 6-2 SWAC) travel to Jackson State at 2 p.m. Saturday in their "Soul Bowl" contest at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Alcorn has already clinched the Eastern Division championship and will face Grambling in the SWAC Championship Game on Dec. 5 at Houston's Reliant Stadium.
Braves coach Jay Hopson is focused on Jackson State, not looking ahead to a showdown against Grambling.
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"There's not much to be said, its a rivalry game," Hopson said in a SWAC Teleconference call this week. "Jackson State's a tough team. It's always a battle. We need to be ready. We have to go prepare and do the things we have to be successful. Jackson State will be ready to play."
Jackson State (3-7, 3-5) won 34-31 last year, but Alcorn went on to win the SWAC and Black College National championships. The Tigers are hoping for a second straight upset.
"It's the biggest game of the year for our team," Tigers interim coach Derrick McCall said. "We're excited about to go up against one of the best teams in our conference. We know Alcorn's riding high after winning the East. They'll come to Jackson and try to put the icing on the cake. We'll put our best foot forward and fight."
Quarterback Lenorris Footman could start for the third straight week. Robert Gibbs Jr. continues to recover from an ankle injury. Footman has rushed for 784 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has also thrown for 671 yards with nine TDs and only two interceptions. Darryl Ragsdale has 855 yards and seven TDs.
Jarin Morikawa figures to start at quarterback for the Tigers. His top receiving targets are Devi Fosselman (56 receptions, 852 yards, five TDs) and Dan Williams (48 receptions, 760 yards, five TDs). Fosselman is the SWAC's leading receiver, with Williams coming in third.
The Braves' only league losses were against Grambling, 35-34 in overtime and 40-34 at Prairie View.