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Alcorn ready for another challenge

lorman — Alcorn State head coach Jay Hopson said he already knew his football team had the ability to overcome adversity and win close ball games, but the Braves fans got to see that characteristic first-hand last week.

Alcorn scored a touchdown in the final minute to defeat Southern University and improve to 2-2 in Southwestern Athletic Conference play, and Hopson said the win once again proved that he has a hard-working team.

“This team is going to play hard for four quarters, and they are not going to worry about the situation or the circumstances,” Hopson said. “We’re going to play hard and do what we have to do.”

Saturday, Alcorn will have to overcome one of the top teams in the conference when it travels to Huntsville, Ala., to face Alabama A&M University.

The Bulldogs are 6-0 on the season and 5-0 in conference, and Hopson said he knows the Braves have a mountain to climb this week.

“They are a really good football team,” he said. “They are well-coached. They are undefeated and have done a really god job this year.”

Alcorn played three different quarterbacks last week in its win over Southern, and Hopson said that pattern would continue this week.

“It’s something that we’ve done all season,” he said. “We hope that gives (our opponents) some things to work on during the week, but we are just doing what we need to do.”

Freshman John Gibbs received the bulk of the snaps at quarterback last week, with freshman Jordan Payne and sophomore Brandon Vessel coming in at times to give the Jaguars a different look. At one point Gibbs completed 10-consecutive passes in the contest.

“John has done a really good job, and I think he’s maturing every game,” Hopson said. “That’s something we’ve been happy to see, and we have to continue that development.”

Saturday’s road trip will be the first of three-straight games on the visitor’s sideline for the Braves.

“It’s sometimes a good thing to get out on the road,” Hopson said. “We stay in a hotel in a structured environment. We don’t really talk about the road. It doesn’t really matter if it’s home or road, the field is still 100 yards.”

Alcorn will look to improve to 3-4 overall and 3-2 in conference play with a win this weekend at No. 25 (AP FCS rankings) Alabama A&M. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday.

Alabama A&M is currently atop Alcorn’s division in the conference with a 5-0 record. Alabama State is in second place at 4-1 ahead of Alcorn and Jackson State who are 2-2.