Jackson State is a team looking to stop the bleeding after back-to-back losses. Alabama A&M is a team that is hungry just to step on the field. The two programs are set to battle each other on national television with potential SWAC East title implications.
AAMU will travel to Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium to take on JSU on Saturday, in a game slated to start at 2 PM Central Time (3 PM Eastern) that will be broadcast live on ESPN. This will be JSU’s second ESPN game of the season, while it will be the second of the season — period — for AAMU.
No team still alive in college football this spring season has been hit harder by COVID-19 than AAMU. And it has been due to no fault of its own. It’s season opener against Alcorn State was taken away when ASU opted-out of spring ball. Then Mississippi Valley had to pause its program due to a COVID-19 outbreak. AAMU managed to schedule a pickup game with South Carolina State, which it won 31-7. Since that early March game, AAMU has had both Prairie View and Grambling pull out in mid-week, forcing it to sit and watch as other programs continued to compete.
At the time of the is writing — Thursday morning — this game is still on. But with everything the Bulldogs have been through, they probably won’t feel secure until the coin is in mid-air.
Alabama A&M features prolific offense
AAMU comes to town with a potentially prolific offense, headlined by one of the best quarterbacks in FCS football. Senior Aqeel Glass is the SWAC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year thanks to his solid career heading into spring. He didn’t look it the first quarter of the South Carolina State game as he threw three interceptions. However, he picked it up after that, throwing four touchdown passes.
Glass has a number of playmakers at receiver. Abdul-Fatai Ibrahim caught six passes for 81 yards in the opener. Odieu Hilaire caught two touchdown passes, and Brian Jenkins scored as well. Running back Gary Quarles was no slouch either, rushing for 96 yards in the win.
Jackson State looking to stop the bleeding
Jackson State comes in the game looking to recover from back-to-back games in which it has been dominated at the line of scrimmage. JSU’s offensive line has been overpowered on the edge in both games, stifling its passing game. It has also struggled to run the ball effectively as well. Both Alabama State and Southern had success running the ball against JSU, so it will need to fix that as well.
Tigers head coach Deion Sanders announced earlier in the week that Quincy Casey will get the start over Jalon Jones on Saturday. Casey, a redshirt freshman, has only played in mop-up duty so far. He has talented weapons in Corey Reed Jr., Daylin Baldwin and Warren Newman, but if his O-line can’t keep defenders out of his face, it will be a long day.
Vegas likes the visitors
Alabama A&M is a 3.5-favorite against Jackson State heading into Saturday’s game.