SWACtion: Tigers hope to stay above .500, Braves searching for a win

Published 11:05 am Saturday, September 16, 2023

Jackson State fans are a happy bunch after the Tigers moved to 2-1 on the season last week with a gritty 27-14 road win at Southern University in Baton Rouge.

The JSU defense sacked Southern quarterback Harold Blood seven times and picked off two of his passes. On the ground, the Tigers got 92 yards and one touchdown from running back Irv Mulligan.

This week the Tigers are facing an FBS opponent in Texas State, a member of the Sunbelt Conference with Southern Miss. 

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In 2021, Jackson State went to FBS member Louisiana-Monroe and narrowly lost 12-7 to the Warhawks.A SWAC school hasn’t beaten an FBS program since Grambling State beat Oregon State in 1985. It’s not an impossible task for an FCS school like JSU to win at a bigger program on the road.Already on Sept. 9 of this season, three FCS schools (Southern Illinois, Fordham and Idaho) won on the road at FBS schools.

In 2017, three HBCU programs at the FCS level (Tennessee State, Howard and North Carolina A&T) won road games at FBS schools.

Ole Miss (Jacksonville State in 2010) and Mississippi State (Maine in 2004) know what it’s like to lose to an FCS school too.

Texas State started the season off with a 42-31 road win at Baylor but dropped a road game 20-13 last week at UT-San Antonio.

Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN+

Alcorn State vs. McNeese State

Saturday, Sept. 16

Lorman, 6 p.m.

Alcorn State is 0-2 after road losses at Southern Miss (40-14) and Stephen F. Austin (38-10).

The Braves will make their Spinks-Casem Stadium debut on Saturday with a matchup against the FCS McNeese State Cowboys.

McNeese is a member of the Southland Conference and is also 0-2 after a 52-34 home loss to Tarleton State and a 49-7 defeat at the University of Florida.

The Braves won 30-19 last season when the teams met in the Paris of Louisiana, Lake Charles. The Cowboys from LC had won the first four games in the series before last season. The previous two meetings had been close though with McNeese winning 17-14 in 2019 and 34-27 in 2017.

Much of the scoring for Stephen F. Austin last week was set up by Alcorn State special teams miscues. Limiting those types of mistakes will be big for the Braves as they hunt for a home win.