SFA Set To host Alcorn State Saturday At 7:00 p.m.
Sept. 25, 2003
MIDDLE GAME OF THE HOMESTAND: SFA plays its second straight at home this week as the Braves of Alcorn State visit Homer Bryce Stadium. Both teams enter the game at 1-2, having lost two in a row after season opening wins. SFA needs a win to avoid its worst start since beginning the 1998 season with a 1-4 record. The 'Jacks got off to a 2-2 start in the 1999 season, a year in which the 'Jacks went on to post an 8-3 overall record and claim a share of the conference title. Following Saturday's meeting with Alcorn State, SFA will close out the three game home stretch by hosting Portland State. The 'Jacks have lost two straight heading into Saturday's game and look to avoid a three game skid for the first time since the middle of the 2000 season. SFA lost three straight to Northern Iowa (37-30), McNeese State (37-6) and Sam Houston (52-41) en route to a 6-5 record. The Lumberjacks have lost four straight, at home, dating back to last season and can snap that streak with a win Saturday night.
LAST WEEK vs. NORTHERN IOWA: SFA fell to 1-2 with the 38-24 loss to Northern Iowa, in spite of piling up 514 yards of total offense. QB Zeke Dixon set a career high with 337 yards of passing for the night. WR Tony Tompkins went over the 100-yard receiving mark for the second time in three games with nine catches for 103 yards. The 'Jacks fell behind 10-0 in the first quarter before scoring 17 unanswered points to lead 17-10 at the half. The Panthers outscored SFA 28-7 in the second half of play as the 'Jacks committed two second half turnovers that led to 14 points. The first came at the UNI 10-yard line as Zeke Dixon fumbled on the opening possession of the third quarter with SFA leading 17-10 and looking to add more. Dixon later threw an interception at the UNI 35-yard line which was returned to the SFA 44 to set up what would prove to be the winning score.
VS. ALCORN STATE: The 'Jacks hold a 2-0 lead in the series over the Braves. The teams met two straight years in 1985 and 1986. SFA won in Lorman, Miss. in 1985 by a 42-12 final, and also won in 1986, 29-12 in Nacogdoches.
THE OPPONENT: Alcorn State enters the game at 1-2 on the year after opening the season with a 37-10 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Braves have since dropped two straight; to Grambling (28-40) and Alabama State (28-49). The Braves are averaging 31.0 points per game, but are allowing 33.0 ppg. Alcorn State is also averaging 346.3 ypg of total offense while giving up 359.0 ypg.
THE COACHES: SFA is coached by Mike Santiago (27-20), in his fifth year with the Lumberjacks. This will be the first meeting between Santiago and the Braves. He led the Lumberjacks to a share of the 1999 Southland Conference title in his first season. Alcorn State is coached by Dr. Johnny Thomas, in his sixth year as the head coach at Alcorn State. Thomas has posted a 21-36 record with the Braves.