Alcorn State to play MVSU in Chicago

Published 12:54 am Saturday, June 19, 2010

LORMAN — The Alcorn State football team thought it was going to be facing Mississippi Valley State at MVSU’s campus in Itta Bena.

But thanks to a stadium renovation, the Braves will face the Delta Devils in a bit more exotic location — Chicago.

A renovation to MVSU’s Rice-Totten Stadium has forced the Delta Devils to move all of their home games this season to other locations.

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And that worked out very nicely for the Braves, who will get a serious upgrade on the Sept. 18 road trip.

“It will be a great experience for (the players) to go out on an NFL stadium and play a game there,” Alcorn State coach Earnest Collins said. “We’ve also got a big alumni base in Chicago and it will be great for the Chicago alums to see us play on their home turf.”

Mississippi Valley is no stranger to playing in Chicago. The Delta Devils have played there three times in the past five years, including last season’s 10-3 win over Alabama State.

“When it was discovered that the stadium wouldn’t be ready (for the season), we started looking for options, “MVSU athletic communications director William Bright said. “One of them was to return to Chicago for another game. That’s how that came about.”

MVSU’s other home games this fall will be moved to Charles R. Kerg Field in Greenville.

Alcorn’s trip to Chicago isn’t the only change to the 2010 schedule.

The Braves have also added a home game against Langston University on Sept. 4, which gives them 11 games total and five home games at Jack Spinks Stadium.

Alcorn’s season-ending game against Jackson State is technically a home game for the Braves, but that game, as always, will be played at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson.

Langston is a NAIA school located in Langston, Okla., that competes in the Central States Football League.

The Lions finished last season with a 9-4 record and was knocked out in the first round of the NAIA playoffs.

Alcorn last played Langston in 2005, winning 24-7.

Collins knows the Lions are no pushover, as they played Arkansas-Pine Bluff tough last season before losing 45-30.

“Langston held their own against Arkansas-Pine Bluff last year,” Collins said. “Whether it’s a Division 1A school or a NAIA school, it doesn’t matter. You’ve still got to play the game. It should be a great football game and we’re looking forward to it.”

Collins is also pleased to have five games at Jack Spinks Stadium this season, after having only three home games last season.

“It’s a big deal for our fans to see us play at home,” Collins said. “We want your fans to see us as much as some other team’s fans. That’s the plus to it all. We get to play in front of our fans and they don’t have to pay to travel eight times to go see us play.”