PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas – The Prairie View A&M University football team continued its preparation for Saturday game at Alcorn State, with coaches that can give a unique perspective on this week’s opponent.
The Panthers (2-3 overall, 2-1 SWAC) will play at Alcorn State (4-2, 2-0) in a 2 p.m. game at Spinks-Casem Stadium. The PVAMU Sports Network broadcast will begin the pregame show at 1:30 p.m. featuring interviews with WR Khadarel Hodge and Head Coach Willie Simmons prior to kickoff. The game will be broadcast in Houston on Synergy Radio 1480 AM, and online at pvpanthers.com/sportsnetwork. Fans can also watch Alcorn’s live video stream of the game for $6.95, with these and live stats links available at pvpanthers.com.
Both current head coaches and both defensive coordinators shared apartments while coaching at Alcorn. Simmons, who was the offensive coordinator and running backs coach from 2012-14, was roommates with Alcorn head coach Fred McNair, who at the time was assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach.
Also sharing an apartment was current Panthers’ defensive coordinator Ralph Street, who was a defensive line coach during the same period and was the roommate of former defensive backs coach and current Braves’ defensive coordinator Cedric Thomas.
That familiarity will be part of the chess match on Saturday as the Braves, the three-time defending SWAC Eastern Division champs, enter the game on a three-game winning streak.
Offensively, Alcorn leads the SWAC in scoring offense (30.5 ppg), rushing offense (226.0 ypg), and total offense (455.8 ypg), and is second in passing offense (229.8 ypg). QB Lenorris Footman leads the conference in passing yards (1,334), passing touchdowns (nine), and total offense (286.5 ypg) and is fourth in rushing yards (385). Footman threw for a career-best 424 yards against McNeese St. earlier this year and was recruited by Simmons to Alcorn.
“He’s a tough guy, so they are a tough football team physically,” Simmons said. “He’s tough mentally, and they’re tough mentally as well. I think they take on the identity of not only of their head coach – Fred McNair has done a phenomenal job there – but also the identity of their quarterback. To me, when I watch them on film, that’s what I see – an offense that has taken the identity of the guy behind center. He’s playing at a very high level, and it’s allowed them to play some really good football this year.”
Defensively, the Braves are second in scoring defense (21.7 ppg), and fourth in both rushing defense (147.2 ypg) and total defense (358.3 ypg).
“You see a little bit of everything,” Simmons said of the Alcorn defense. “(Cedric’s) doing a great job of mixing up looks – three-down fronts, four-down fronts, no-down fronts – he’s doing a little bit of it all. It’s a huge challenge for our offensive line, to identify the rushers, for our running backs and tight ends to add on in protections, for our quarterback to see the coverage on identify what they are doing on the back end, and just for us to consistently and efficiently make plays. That’s what they are going to challenge you to do.”
HOMECOMING TICKETS ON SALE: Tickets for the 2017 homecoming game are on sale online at pvpanthers.com/tickets.