College Sports

Jackson State travels to Alabama A&M

Andrew Warren, Millsaps
Andrew Warren, Millsaps

Jackson State tries to salvage its football season this weekend in the state of Alabama.

The Tigers (1-3, 1-2 SWAC) face Alabama A&M in Huntsville at 1 p.m. Saturday, trying to keep their hopes of staying in the Eastern Division race. Jackson State is coming off an open date.

Derrick McCall takes over as interim coach with the firing of Harold Jackson last week. McCall played quarterback at Jackson State from 1979 to 1982, leading the Tigers to the Division I-AA playoffs twice. He's also coached at Jackson State for the last eight years.

"I am confident that we can field a very competitive team for the rest of this season," McCall said.

Grambling at Alcorn State, 2 p.m.: The Braves (4-1, 2-0 SWAC) face their toughest opponent since falling at Georgia Tech in the season-opener. Alcorn, winners of four straight, was off last week.

The Tigers invade Spinks-Casem Stadium, which could be a preview of the SWAC Championship Game in December at Houston's Reliant Stadium. Grambling routed Jackson State two weeks ago.

Defense will ultimately decide Alcorn's title hopes. Linebacker Kourtney Berry has a SWAC-leading 71 total tackles, 22 more than Grambling's Guy Stallworth.

Texas Southern at Mississippi Valley State, 2 p.m.: The struggles continue for Valley (0-5, 0-3), who have shown no sign of recording their first win of 2015.

Valley has turned to Ruban Thurston at quarterback, the Delta Devils' third starter at the position. He provided a spark against Jacksonville State.

West Georgia at Delta State, 6 p.m.: The 14th ranked Statesmen (4-1, 2-1) get a chance to avenge last year's season-ending loss as well as keep their Gulf South Conference title hopes alive. A second conference all but ends the Statesmen's postseason hopes unless they win out.

Quarterback Tyler Sullivan expects to return from a shoulder injury, causing him to miss the Shorter game. Freshman Tyler Cameron started and threw for 196 yards.

Mississippi College at Valdosta State, 1 p.m.: The Choctaws (2-3, 0-2 GSC) are coming off an open date, but they face a tough Vandals team in Georgia.

Quarterback Kyle Smith leads MC in rushing (373 yards, two TDs) and passing (350 yards, three scores), but MC needs other players to step up.

Millsaps at Birmingham Southern, 1 p.m.: The Majors (1-4, Southern Athletic Association) have lost four straight and headed for a losing season.

Former Ocean Springs running back Andrew Warren, a freshman, is the Majors' leading rusher with 289 yards and five touchdowns.

Warner at Belhaven, 1 p.m.: The Blazers (0-6) have already clinched a losing season. Belhaven has a chance to win on Homecoming at Newell Field.

One of the Blazers' bright spots is the play of defensive back Isaiah Swopes of Ocean Springs. The freshman has three interceptions this season, including two against Louisiana College last weekend.