Alcorn faces big challenge at Southern

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 23, 1999

The contest will have no bearing on the Southwestern Athletic Conference standings, but Alcorn State has a chance to make a big statement when the Braves face No. 3 Southern (7-0) in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

&uot;We are looking for players who can play, not be frightened by anybody, do not forget what to do, not be nervous and not make mistakes that could hurt us early against quality teams,&uot; said Alcorn State head coach Johnny Thomas. &uot;This is an opportunity to see which players are able to play against a quality opponent such as Southern.&uot;

Alcorn, 3-3, fell 23-21 to Texas Southern last week.

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&uot;Southern is always strong although they graduated 23 seniors,&uot; Thomas said. &uot;They are ranked No. 1 in Black College football. This is a true testimony to the quality of their football program, coaching staff and their commitment to football. It is going to be an interesting game and a tough game for us. I am glad we are having this game at this point, coming off a loss at the hands of Texas Southern because it is going to reveal to us the quality of players we have.&uot;

The Braves have only played one team in the Eastern Division, defeating Alabama State 38-27.

&uot;We are going to have to find players who can play against good teams or so-called great teams in our conference and outside of our conference,&uot; Thomas said. &uot;I think that is what we are learning right now as a team and as a coaching staff, that is to recognize players who are not afraid and will not panic when in competition against quality ball clubs or teams that everybody perceives as top-ranked.&uot;