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Jackson State Changes Home Game for ESPNU
One of Jackson State’s home football games this season will be moved to Thursday night to accommodate an ESPNU telecast, JSU confirmed this week.
The school doesn’t know yet which game will be chosen for the prime time spot, likely to kick off at 6:30 p.m.
ESPN has not released its TV schedule for Southwestern Athletic Conference football games yet, and it’s unclear when the network will do so.
The SWAC is in the final year of a 2004 contract with ESPN to televise SWAC sports. Under the agreement, each SWAC team is to be televised twice every five years, the conference office said.
It’s JSU’s turn in the rotation.
The Tigers have played a Thursday night, ESPNU-TV game just once in the last five years - a 28-7 win over Texas Southern in the third game of the 2007 season.
ESPNU televised three Thursday night SWAC games last season, all of them starting at 6:30.
The last time JSU played a game not on a Saturday was the 2008 season opener, a loss to Hampton on a Sunday in the SWAC-MEAC Challenge in Orlando, Fla.
Jackson State has five SWAC home games this season: Alabama State (Sept. 24), Texas Southern (Oct. 1), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Oct. 8), Grambling (Nov. 5) and Alcorn State (Nov. 19).
None of those games come after or before the bye week (set for Oct. 22), meaning JSU will have a short week to prepare for the Thursday night game and an extra two days for the next game.
Whichever game ESPN picks, there will be a storyline to follow.
The first two games are against the 2010 division winners. Alabama State won the East and then lost to West champion Texas Southern in the SWAC Championship Game.
JSU, which tied for first place in the Eastern Division last year, lost to both of those teams by a combined five points last season.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff visits next.
JSU coach Rick Comegy was suspended for last year’s game at Pine Bluff for an on-field, profanity-laced tirade criticizing game officials immediately after JSU’s loss at Alabama State.
With Comegy sitting in a Little Rock, Ark., hotel room, the Tigers whipped the Golden Lions 52-30.
Coach Doug Williams, in his second stint with Grambling, will return to Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium on Nov. 5.
Williams led Grambling to three straight SWAC championships during his first tenure at the school, which began in 1998 and ended in 2003.
And then there’s Alcorn State.
The Braves and Tigers will tangle in what may or may not be the Capital City Classic.
Alcorn President Christopher Brown may not renew the Classic, instead opting to move the series, played at Memorial Stadium for the last 17 years, back to the schools’ home stadiums. This season’s game would be in Jackson either way because it’s JSU’s home game.