Alcorn State going to Hattiesburg to ‘win a ball game,’ face Southern Miss in competitive season-opening game
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Alcorn State and Southern Miss will meet again Saturday for the first time since 2019.
The Braves are 0-3 against the Eagles, but head Coach Fred McNair made one thing clear about this weekend’s match up: Alcorn is travelling down to Hattiesburg to be competitive and to win the game after a “great fall camp,” despite being the underdog.
“I told the guys yesterday after practice about the 0-3 start against Southern Miss. We haven’t won a game in three contests,” McNair said in an opening statement Monday. “It’ll be a good opportunity to go down and play a good FBS team and compete against.”
“It’s gonna be a very competitive ball game,” McNair added. “We’re going down there to win a ball game. “We’re not going down there to show up and collect a check. “We’re going down there to win a ball game. It’s not just a game.”
Both teams will inevitably meet on the gridiron at M.M. Roberts Stadium, aka “the Rock.” But Coach McNair says the importance of the travelling fans is where it begins, with Braves’ fans being known for their good away presence.
Southern Miss head coach Will Hall has eluded to his excitement for this in-state rivalry rebirth. The last time he says the Rock being fully packed was when Alcorn came to the Pine Belt.
“The fans we have, they travel well and we don’t take that lightly,” Coach McNair said. “We have a lot of kids from the state of Mississippi involved with the program. Going to a hostile environment, we are used to that. We’ve been to Southern Miss before, so we know how it is down there. Hopefully, our fans will be louder than their fans and our band louder than their band. We want to make it feel like home.”
The Braves have yet to announce its starting quarterback for the 2023 season, but a known commodity is talented running back Jarveon Howard and defensive lineman Malachi Bailey, who were named to the preseason All-SWAC first-team.
Alcorn was picked to finish second in the west division of the SWAC behind Southern University.
Both players will likely have a huge impact on the outcome of the game this weekend.
The contest will air on ESPN Plus and the kick off is set for 6 p.m.
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