Alcorn State to host Texas Southern for homecoming Saturday

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 5, 2010

LORMAN — Saturday, Alcorn State had the tall task of taking on an SEC opponent when the Braves faced Mississippi State in Starkville.

Although the Braves (3-1, 2-0) kept the score fairly close early in the game, the Bulldogs’ depth ultimately won out as Alcorn fell 49-16, its first loss of the season.

All of the Braves’ 16 points came in the second quarter. Alcorn head coach Earnest Collins said he responded accordingly when the Bulldogs began to pull away.

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“We just went into the game trying to run our offense and defense, and we had some success in the second quarter,” Collins said.

“We went into the game to win it, and we thought we had a chance for a while, but it came down to attrition and players. In the second half, we took some kids out and got out of there.”

True freshman quarterback Brandon Bridge had a good day for Alcorn last Saturday, going 13-for-24 in passing for 193 yards and a touchdown. He also had 103 yards rushing, highlighted by a 78-yard touchdown run.

“With Brandon, he’s still a freshman. He’s learning to get into good plays and out of bad plays. We have to continue to play to his strengths and keep it simple, and he’ll get better each game,” Collins said.

Taking command of the starting job is something Bridge set out to do the day he arrived on campus, Collins said.

“He wants to get better, and he’s set high standards for himself. He watches film all the time, an he’s trying to do what he has to do to be a good player,” he said.

“It helps a lot when you have a quarterback that can run and get himself out of trouble. We’re working on the passing game with him and shoring up his fundamentals. He’s smart, and he’s learning to read defenses, so we just have to keep him going in the right direction.”

The Braves return to SWAC play this week as they host Texas Southern for homecoming. Collins said the Tigers would be coming in with a very stout defense and a strong running game.

“They’re a good football and their defense is special. They have people flying all over the place,” Collins said.

“On offense, they have three game running backs, and they’ll give them the ball. We have to stop the run and be ready for the pass when they decide to do it.

“Offensively, we have to protect the football, move up and down the field and stick to what we do. We also have to make plays on special teams.”

Kickoff at Alcorn is at 2 p.m. Saturday.