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Alcorn: Braves look for third straight

LORMAN — The last two football weekends have been stressful for Alcorn State, but the team has managed to weather the storm and collect two hotly contested SWAC wins.

After a touchdown in the final minute gave the Braves a 20-17 win over Southern University, the team went on the road last week and hung on to a late lead to win 21-20 over Alabama A&M.

“They did a great job,” head coach Jay Hopson said. “We got some big turnovers and had a big interception return. I was just proud of them for competing and fighting.”

Saturday, the Braves will hit the road again looking for their third-consecutive victory — something the program has not done since winning four straight in 2006.

But Hopson said the numbers do not matter to him, and he is focused on Saturday and Prairie View A&M.

“I think in football you have to put blinders on and just get ready for next week,” he said. “You can’t live in the past, because there is another prize fight every week.

“It’s kind of like a poker game, and you count up your chips when it’s all said and done. We just have to get ready for next week, because there is always too much shaking and baking (in the standings).”

The Braves currently sit in third place in the SWAC’s Eastern division. Prairie View sits at 1-5 overall and 1-3 on the year in conference.

“Prairie View is a team that has lost to some good opponents,” Hopson said. “Their record is deceiving. They are a team coming off a big win at Grambling.”

The two teams ahead of Alcorn in the division standings — Alabama A&M and Alabama State — will face each other this weekend. Alcorn is currently tied with Jackson State at 3-2 in SWAC play.

The Braves and Panthers are set to kick off at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Prairie View, Texas.

It was also announced this week that Alcorn State would face Mississippi State University in Starkville next season. The game will be played on Sept. 7, 2013.

“It’s always good to play our in-state teams,” Hopson said. “Playing an SEC team is something the kids look forward to. They are a great team, and it will give them the exposure. It’s especially good for recruits who want to play in those games.”