Alcorn’s QB still unknown as Braves prep for opener

Published 2:20 am Saturday, September 4, 2010

LORMAN — The Alcorn State campus is known as “The Reservation,” but on Saturday it might as well be Mystery Theater.

That’s because while Alcorn head coach Earnest Collins might know who his starting quarterback is going to be, he’s not telling anybody.

“You’ll know when we walk on the field,” Collins said. “We’ll get out there and let it be what it will.”

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Four quarterbacks — senior Terrance Barnes, redshirt freshman Darius Smith and true freshmen Brandon Bridge and Jeremy Collins — have been battling to replace two-year starter Tim Buckley as signal-caller, and while Collins wouldn’t name a starter, he did single out of couple of players who have caught his eye.

“Terrence Barnes is looking good and so is Brandon Bridge,” Collins said. “It’s been a good competition.”

While Alcorn is playing its first game of the season, Langston, an NAIA school from Oklahoma City, is playing its second game.

The Lions opened their season last Saturday with a 28-20 victory over Incarnate Word.

“They’re a team that’s got some speed on offense and defense,” Collins said. “Their quarterback is very athletic.”

But it’s Langston’s running back, Carlos Ross, who transferred to Langston from Alcorn State after the 2007 season, who has Collins the most concerned.

“He’s a kid who was responsible for over 1,500 yards of offense last year,” Collins said. “He’s very good at running and catching the football. We’ve got to know where he is at all times and control what he does. He’s a vital piece of their offense.”

And despite Langston’s NAIA status, Collins knows the Braves had better not overlook the Lions.

“Langston is a good football team,” Collins said. “We’re going to have to come out and play our game to beat those guys.”