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Valley's Morgan finds 'big guy' for his schedule
Yes, new Mississippi Valley State coach Karl Morgan might have been better off scheduling schools like Lincoln College and Texas College, two of three games the Delta Devils won last year.
But he wanted to go bigger and better. So, Morgan scheduled South Carolina State.
“We want to build this program,” Morgan said. “We are going to play the big guys.”
It’s safe to say South Carolina State is a big guy. The Bulldogs are the unquestioned No. 1-ranked HBCU and the No. 13 Football Championship Subdivision team.
They’ve won 10 games each of the last two years. They gave Southeastern Conference member South Carolina a test last season and nearly beat Appalachian State in the first round of the 2009 FCS playoffs.
“We watched the film last year of South Carolina,” Morgan said, “and they should have beat South Carolina in South Carolina.”
So why put them on the schedule?
“If you want to be the best, you’ve got to model yourself after the best,” Morgan said.
Plus, Valley will receive a guaranteed $70,000 for traveling the 600 or so miles to Orangeburg, S.C., Morgan said.
Last season, the Delta Devils beat Alabama State - which beat Valley 34-6 last week in the season opener - Lincoln College and Texas College.
When Morgan arrived at Valley a few months ago, there were no non-conference teams on the schedule. Morgan admits he “thought about Lincoln or Texas,” but he couldn’t resist playing the big guy.
Prairie View A&M coach Henry Frazier knew all along that his quarterback, K.J. Black, wouldn’t play the first couple of games of this season.
But he didn’t tell anyone.
“Gamesmanship,” Frazier said.
Black, the preseason All-SWAC offensive player of the year, injured his knee in the spring, but Frazier kept it hushed. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound senior did not play in the Panthers’ 16-14 win over Texas Southern last week. And, no, Frazier said, Black won’t play Saturday against Southern Miss.
“I want to win the conference championship,” Frazier said. “I’m not going to risk him early.”
When asked further about Black’s injury, Frazier refused to expound. Frazier did say doctors have cleared Black to play and that he should return soon.
In the win over Texas Southern, backup quarterback Jonathan Troast completed 17 of 35 passes for 126 yards. He tossed a touchdown but was intercepted twice.
Alcorn State coach Earnest Collins can’t control it. He’ll just have to deal with it.
His Braves (1-0) have a bye this week, meaning they’ll play 10 straight games to end the season.
“It wasn’t necessarily planned. It’s just the way it fell out,” Collins said. “We’ll have to do some creative things to keep the kids fresh after this week.”
By Ross Dellenger, Clarion Ledger