The Alcorn State Braves and the Southern Miss Golden Eagles meet in week 1 college football action from M.M. Roberts Stadium on Saturday night.
Alcorn State Team Preview
The Alcorn State Braves will be hoping to bounce back after a frustrating 2022 campaign that saw the Braves finish the year at 5-6 overall and 4-4 in SWAC conference play. Aaron Allen is back after leading the Braves at QB with 1,424 passing yards on 62.3% passing with 8 touchdowns and 7 interceptions but the returning star of the show is running back Jarveon Howard, who rushed for a conference-leading 1,275 yards and 12 touchdowns in his first season at Alcorn State after transferring in from Syracuse. The bulk of Alcorn State’s receiving corps is intact, led by Monterio Hunt who is back after leading Alcorn State with 489 receiving yards and 3 TDs and Malik Rodgers also returns after logging 380 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns. On defense, Terreance Ellis is back after recording a team-high 92 tackles while Malachi Bailey is also back after leading the Braves with 9.5 sacks in 2022.
Southern Miss Team Preview
The Southern Miss Golden Eagles will look to build on a solid debut season in the Sun Belt, finishing at 7-6 overall including 4-4 in conference play. The Golden Eagles would receive an invite to the LendingTree Bowl, a game that saw Southern Miss take down Rice by a final score of 38-24. The quarterback situation is a mess for Southern Miss, but Zach Wilcke has experience from being thrown into the fire as a freshman and threw 8 TDs and 9 INTs last season. The QB situation features the likes of Jake Lange, Holman Edwards (who transfers in from Houston) and Billy Wiles (Clemson) as well. The name of the game for Southern Miss will be success on the ground through Frank Gore Jr., who rushed for 1,382 yards and 9 touchdowns in 2022. In the receiving corps, Jason Brownlee is gone, but Jakarius Caston and Ty Mims are more than capable of taking over the reps, and six of the top seven receiving targets for Southern Miss are back as well. On defense, Avarie Habas returns to anchor the front seven with leading pass rusher Dominic Quewon gone, but Daylen Gill and Santrell Latham make up a rock solid pair in the linebacking group. The secondary needs some work as well, but there are still some pieces in Hattiesburg that the Golden Eagles don’t have to completely rebuild on the back end.
Alcorn State is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall. Southern Miss is 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games overall and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games while the over is 4-1 in their last 5 September games.
I’m sticking with Alcorn State, but not rushing to bet this thing. I think we’re going to see a heavy dose of Frank Gore Jr. for Southern Miss, but the QB situation is just a disaster for the golden Eagles right now and I’m not really eager to jump on them here laying a boatload of points. Much better options on Saturday’s card, but if forced to pick, I’d take Alcorn State ATS.