Saturday was a huge day for Alcorn State, for several reasons. For one, it was finally retiring the jersey of its greatest legend, Steve McNair. Secondly, it was homecoming. Third, it was a chance to size up SWAC West leader Southern, the team it beat for the SWAC title last December.
ASU came away with the 27-13 win over Southern on homecoming, getting another solid performance from quarterback Felix Harper.
Harper completed 19 of 26 passes for 277 yards and two scores, while scoring on a short touchdown run as well. He improved to 5-0 as a starter since taking over for SWAC Preseason Offensive Player of The Year Noah Johnson.
“This probably was his biggest game he’s ever played, so we were trying to keep him calm and try to make him understand that this stage isn’t too big,” coach Fred McNair said after the game. “I think Coach Pat White does a great job with them of doing everything he needs to be doing to teach them the right reads and throwing it in the right spots. He runs the offense just as well as anybody.”
It was a big day for McNair, not only because of his team’s win, but also as his brother’s jersey was posthumously honored.
“Such a great day to be a Brave,” McNair said. “It was a very emotional day and I didn’t want to put any more added pressure on those guys, but today was a day that Steve [McNair] set records against this team that we played and I just wanted to make sure we came out and represented well as a program. We played an excellent ballgame the second half, came back and fought. My hats off to Coach [Dawson] Odums, they’re such a great, classic football team and a great program over at Southern. He does a great job with that program, but these guys that we have here at Alcorn are phenomenal players. They continue to fight each and every week through all the adversity that comes at them. It was a great win for us.”
Alcorn improved to 6-2 overall, 4-0 in the SWAC. Southern is now 4-3 overall, 3-1 in the SWAC.