Alcorn State, Jackson State sit atop SWAC’s Eastern Division

Alcorn State running back Arron Baker needs a strong performance for the Braves to repeat as SWAC champions.
Alcorn State running back Arron Baker needs a strong performance for the Braves to repeat as SWAC champions. Associated Press

Alcorn State and Jackson State remain tied atop the SWAC’s Eastern Division standings.

The Braves and Tigers both face tough road contests on Saturday. Alcorn (3-4 overall, 3-3 SWAC) travels to Prairie View for a 1 p.m. game and Jackson State (3-5, 3-3) visits Alabama State for a 2 p.m. contest in Montgomery.

Prairie View goes for a Mississippi sweep, having already beaten Jackson State and Mississippi Valley State. The Panthers (5-3, 5-1) could also derail the Braves’ hopes of three-peating as SWAC champions.

Alcorn quarterback Lenorris Footman threw for more 300 yards in last week’s 41-33 loss to Southern University, but the Braves must improve defensively.

“We just have to get better,” Braves coach Fred McNair said.

Jackson State has found a quarterback in Jarin Morikawa, but the junior must cut down on turnovers. He passed for 286 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-14 loss to Prairie View, but also threw two interceptions.

Mississippi Valley State at Arkansas Pine Bluff, 2:30 p.m.: The winless Delta Devils (0-8, 0-6 SWAC) are coming off an open date. Defensive lineman Khalil Young is one of the Delta Devils’ bright spots, producing 52 total tackles and three quarterback sacks.

Mississisppi College at Shorter, 12:30 p.m.: The Choctaws (2-6, 0-6 Gulf South Conference) are coming off an open date. Wide receiver Marcel Newson has a shot to finish the season with 1,000 yards receiving. He has 47 receptions for 764 yards and four TDs.

Mary-Hardin Baylor at Belhaven, 1 p.m.: The Blazers (1-7) continue to struggle defensively, resulting in a seven-game losing streak. Belhaven has allowed 50 or more points in all seven losses. Belhaven has allowed 53 points a game.

Millsaps at Sewanee, 1 p.m.: Poor special teams play doomed the Majors (2-6, 1-4, Southern Athletic Association) in a 22-19 overtime loss at Berry last week. An extra point was blocked and returned for two points with under three minutes left to force overtime. Berry won on a 43-yard field goal.

James Jones: 228-896-2320, @_jkjones