Natchez Democrat/Lauren Wood
UAPB return man Andre Mitchell carries the ball past Alcorn State’s Darieo Harvey during Saturday’s game at Spinks-Casem Stadium.
There’s nothing that the Arkansas-Pine Bluff football team seems to dread about a short week.
UAPB practiced Sunday, its usual off-day, in preparation for Thursday night’s national-television game at Alabama State. Asked if the Golden Lions would face any negatives of no days off, coach Monte Coleman said the practice — just a day after winning 24-6 at Alcorn State — was “very enthusiastic.”
“Everything is just pushed forward on our schedule,” Coleman said during the SWAC coaches’ teleconference. “We had a practice (Sunday). (Monday) is a Tuesday for us, Tuesday is a Wednesday for us, and Wednesday we travel.”
ESPNU will broadcast the Alabama State game. It will be the first national-TV appearance for the Lions since the 2010 season, when they went 1-1 on the network.
Alabama State already has been on ESPN this season, losing the MEAC-SWAC challenge to Bethune-Cookman on Sept. 2. The Hornets drew national attention over the summer when they landed former Georgia running back and 2011 SEC Freshman of the Year Isaiah Crowell.
On Saturday Crowell had 98 yards rushing and a touchdown in a 19-18 win at Grambling State. Coleman isn’t ruling out changes to his 4-3 base defense to account for Crowell.
“We’ll have to make some concessions,” he said. “He’s a game-changer. He’s that talented.”
From Arkansas-Pine Bluff
to Arkansas State
Alcorn State coach Jay Hopson called the first five games of his season “murderer’s row.”
The Braves got past defending SWAC champion Grambling State 22-21 in the opener, but was hammered at FCS contender James Madison 42-3 and at home by UAPB on Saturday. The two games remaining on the row: Arkansas State of the Sun Belt Conference and Alabama State.
Arkansas State (1-2) is the only FBS team on the Braves’ schedule and will try to score a decisive victory after being stymied by high-powered offenses in Oregon and Nebraska and barely beating Memphis, which at 0-3 has lost to FCS Tennessee-Martin and two Sun Belt teams.
“Anytime you play FBS, you got your hands full,” Hopson said. “They (Arkansas State) did some good things against Nebraska; they just didn’t stick it in the end zone.”
Nebraska beat A-State 42-13 in Lincoln.
As for the progress of his team, Hopson isn’t discouraged by the 1-2 start.
“I’m pretty pleased where we are,” he said. “Like I said at the beginning of the year, it’s going to be a progression. You never like losing, though.”
Southern interim coach
meets the press
Dawson Odums made his SWAC teleconference debut Monday as Southern’s interim head coach. He took over the role on Friday when Southern reassigned head coach Stump Mitchell to other duties within the athletic department following a 6-0 home loss to Mississippi Valley State.
“We have a vision in place,” Odums said. “What’s in front of us is a chance to play in the SWAC championship game. We’ve only lost one conference game.”
Southern is 0-2 overall, with its other loss a 66-21 defeat at New Mexico on Sept. 1.
Odums was asked what his coaching style is for the Jaguars, who travel to Jackson State this Saturday.
“I’m a disciplinarian,” Odums said. “That at least will get you into the fourth quarter.”
What’s wrong with playing for money?
Prairie View A&M coach Heishma Northern on Monday publicly defended lower-level FBS and FCS teams playing higher-caliber competition for money after he was asked about a comment made on television that such teams shouldn’t sponsor football.
Northern’s club has a date at defending FCS national champion North Dakota State this Saturday.
“A lot of schools have worked their way up by playing money games,” Northern said. “Boise State didn’t become the Boise State we know today without money games. South Florida didn’t become the South Florida we know today. When Fresno State was rolling pretty good, they even had money games.”
Northern wouldn’t disclose the amount Prairie View will receive for playing in Fargo.
“I won’t say how much, but we’re getting more money versus North Dakota State than we would against Sam Houston State, which is about an hour down the road from us,” Northern said.
Grambling State coach Doug Williams on finding a kicker: “I’m talking to the girls soccer team seeing if there’s anyone who can kick an extra point.” Grambling State missed an extra point and failed two two-point conversion attempts in its loss to Alabama State.