Alcorn strives for ‘perfect’ game vs. MSU

Published 12:01 am Friday, September 6, 2013

Lorman — A lot of smaller collegiate football teams have great potential, but no one ever knows it because of a mediocre schedule.

Every mid-major football hopes for the chance to prove that they can compete with the big boys in the Southeastern Conference. And Saturday, Alcorn State will get that chance as they take on Mississippi State in Starkville.

The Braves have gained much needed confidence in their season opening 63-12 pounding against Edward Waters.

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“I thought we executed pretty well,” Alcorn head coach Jay Hopson said. “Both offense and defense played solid football.”

But Hopson said as a coach, it’s his job to always weed out the negatives as well so they can continue to thrive.

“We had some down assignments and a few misreads,” he said. “There’s room for improvement and things to work on.”

Hopson said sophomore quarterback John Gibbs continued to get better for him.

“Gibbs did good,” Hopson said. “I thought he played a really good game. I think he continues to get better every week as a quarterback. Every game he plays, he’ll get better.”

Against Edward Waters, Gibbs completed 15 of 20 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown. Running backs Arnold Walker, Joe Price and Anthony Williams III made up much of the rushing yardage with 179 yards on 34 carries.

Though the Braves got off to a good start, Hopson is far from satisfied and he said he wouldn’t be until things are “perfect.”

“We’re striving for the perfect game,” Hopson said. “There’s always things we want to clean up. We want perfect execution and perfect assignment ball.”

When it comes to playing the Bulldogs Saturday, Hopson said they’re only positives that can come from the opportunity.

“It’s a challenge, but it’s a win-win situation for us because we get to go out there and compete against some of the best competitors in the land,” he said.

Mississippi State is coming off a tough 21-3 loss to Oklahoma State last week and will be looking to avenge themselves against their in-state opponent.

“We know we have to bring out A-game,” Hopson said. “Every aspect of the game has to be strong

We have to play hard and physical on offense, and special teams has to control the field.”

Alcorn State will play at Mississippi State at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The game will also be aired on ESPN3.