Alcorn State is 60 minutes away from becoming the first team in 14 years to three-peat as conference champions.
Standing in the way is a 10-1 Grambling squad that's ranked in the top 15 in FCS polls.
The Braves continued preparing for the Tigers with a Tuesday afternoon practice. Alcorn avoided the severe weather that affected most of the Magnolia State, Fred McNair's crew worked out at Spinks-Casem Stadium.
Coach updated the status of All-SWAC QB Lenorris Footman: "We're going to feel him out the rest of this week and will be a game time decision. Hopefully he prepares himself this week to be able to play. Still have Noah Johnson. Noah has done a great job for us this week and doing things that he needs to do to get prepared for this game."
Johnson has shined in Footman's absence, throwing for 11 touchdowns and running in 10. That includes a record-setting 8 TD performance November 12th versus Mississippi Valley. All-American center Detonio Dade feels the offense will be fine regardless. "Which ever one plays, we're going to protect our butts off on the offensive line, and receivers are going to do their thing catching the ball, whoever throws it to them. The quarterback is going to run the ball good just like the running backs. So we're all going to play together no matter who's playing."
Defensively, Alcorn has to contain Grambling's high powered offense. The Braves learned several lessons in a 43-18 loss to the Tigers in September. "The biggest thing is making the play when you have a play to make. Containing Devante Kincade in the pocket and tackling the running back. We have to do that. The biggest thing on defense is making plays."
Darien Anderson has had a stellar senior season for the Braves. The Conerly Trophy nominee has 12 sacks, good for 1st in the SWAC and top 5 in FCS. He credits a Southern loss for the Braves defense turning the corner. "A lot of young guys early in the year, now they're getting that experience, some of them playing their first college season. We got a special task at hand and we really want it."
Alcorn State faces Grambling Saturday at 3:00pm in the SWAC Championship. The game will be televised on ESPNU and available online at ESPN3.com
WLBT will have SWAC coverage from Houston starting on Friday.
IF YOU HAVE A STORY IDEA CONTACT WLBT/WDBD AT (601) 960-4426 OR EMAIL US AT News@WLBT.COM.
715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, MS 39201