College Sports

Mississippi Valley State coach Rick Comegy faces former team on Halloween

Jackson State coach Derrick McCall
Jackson State coach Derrick McCall

Mississippi Valley State hasn't beaten Jackson State in consecutive years since the 1980's.

The winless Delta Devils (0-8, 0-6) play host to Jackson State (2-5, 2-4) at 4 p.m. Saturday at Rice-Totten Stadium in a surprising matchup of the two worst SWAC teams.

Valley won 27-23 last season at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium, snapping a 20-game losing streak.

Former Jackson State coach Rick Comegy goes up against his former team and interim Tigers coach Derrick McCall, whom he hired as an assistant years ago.

"I know he loves the game," Comegy said in a SWAC Teleconference call. " I know he's excited, I'm happy for him. I don't think there's a better person they could have chosen to step up and take the reigns at this point. He's a guy that will love the team, he's a guy that will motivate them he's going to work. He's not going to sit back. I know he wants to come out with the win as well as I."

Added McCall: "He personally helped me in so many ways he was responsible for bringing me to Jackson State and making me a coordinator while I was here. I know Rick Comegy very well and he's a genius in terms of defensive schemes. He's going against some of the players he's coached before. Being a part of that, he'll try to rip your heart and we do understand that. Guys understand we have to go to Valley and be ready to play a very tough football game."

Ruban Thurston has become the Delta Devils' quarterback. LaMontiez Ivy, one of the SWAC's top passers, didn't play last week and his status remains unclear.

Alcorn State at Southern University, 4 p.m.: Alcorn State (4-2, 2-1 SWAC) had two weeks to recover from its first SWAC loss of the season. This could be a preview of the SWAC Championship game in December. Southern (4-3, 3-1) is one game behind Grambling in the Western Division Standings.

Despite the 35-34 overtime loss to Grambling, Alcorn State still controls its destiny of reaching the SWAC Championship Game. The Braves are the only Eastern Division with one loss.

Delta State at North Alabama, 1:30 p.m.: The Statesmen (5-3, 1-3 GSC) have struggled since All-GSC quarterback Tyler Sullivan broke his collarbone last month, dropping two straight. Delta State must beat North Alabama to keep its slim hopes alive of reaching the NCAA Division II playoffs. The loser is all but eliminated from the postseason.

Berry at Millsaps, 1 p.m.: The Majors (1-6, 0-5 Southern Athletic Association) return home to Davis Field for Homecoming, hoping to end a six-game losing skid. Quarterback Chance Clowers continues to shine, throwing for 277 yards and two touchdowns against Washington, MO.

West Georgia at Mississippi College, 3 p.m.: The Choctaws (2-5, 0-4) will be hard-pressed to upset second-ranked West Georgia, the likely GSC champion and national title contender. Marcel Newson has six touchdown receptions on the season, the most since DeMarrion Buford-Hughes caught eight in 2011.

Belhaven at McMurry, Noon: The Blazers (1-6) have changed quarterbacks for the second time. Clayton Webb, who started the season-opener, came off the bench to lead Belhaven over Warner. Tristan Hibbeler played well for stretches, but returned to the bench. Both signal-callers are expected to see action against McMurry.

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