SWAC press conferences have been highly enlightening and entertaining since the arrival of Coach Deion Sanders at Jackson State University.
I have participated in many NFL pressers, but most are dull and PC (politically correct).
Then again, it's nothing new for HBCU coaches to rank on one another - it brings some drama and interest in the game. In the past, Eddie Robinson would have fun at press conferences before several Bayou Classic games.
On Monday, the press conference began with an unlikely character throwing shade at Deion Sanders and his "Quackillac" scooter sponsored by Aflac.
Alabama A&M's head coach Connell Maynor started the exchange of barbs with Sanders ahead of Saturday's highly contentious game for SWAC East division supremacy.
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MAYNOR THROWS SHADE
"Coach Sanders. I hurt my ankle getting off the bus the other day. You get an extra scooter for me?" joked Coach Maynor. "If you got an extra scooter, send me one down here."
Later Sanders responded in the presser, "The coach said something about me, I don's shoot back, because I don't do that, because I'm really good at that. I'm on this high road right now. That's what I do, I take the high road, I'm a different dude. So, I don't do that. But, you know, everybody's waiting for me to do that. At the conclusion of this matter [Saturday's game], we're just going to have to sit and see." And, the mic drops!
WORDS AND SCOOTERS WILL BE SETTLED ON THE FIELD
The two coaches and their respective teams will have the final say after a JSU and A&M battle inside Louis Crews Stadium at 2:00 PM CT on Saturday, Oct. 9.
Jackson State had a bye week in Week 5, but Alabama A&M had a rough outing against Grambling State last Saturday afternoon at Eddie Robinson Stadium.
The BCPOY candidate Aqeel Glass accounted for five turnovers (4 interceptions, one fumble) in the 37-28 defeat at the hands of the freshman sensation Noah Bodden and the GSU Tigers.
The Bulldogs will face another outstanding freshman quarterback in Shedeur Sanders. The young Sanders has thrown his hat into the ring for BCPOY candidacy in his first season.
After last week's debacle in Grambling, A&M's ranking fell in all polls, and Jackson State claimed the top spot. Coach Maynor, Glass, and the "Outlaws" are already in a bad mood and ready to reclaim top billing at home over the JSU Tigers.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Nonetheless, A&M had trouble against Grambling's defensive front, and they will equally have difficulty handling two of HBCUs' best defenders in Aubrey Miller, Jr. and James Houston. Both men pose a formidable threat for the Bulldog's offensive linemen.
Shedeur Sanders vs. Aqeel Glass will pressure the defensive backfields of each team. Based on this season's statistics, Jackson State has the edge. However, A&M's should have Sanders weary of making ill-advised passes in the middle especially where Trenell Troutman is patrolling.
Jackson State has yet to find their running game in 2021. Coach Sanders did mention his beleaguered rushing attack, "we can't run the football right now...hopefully, we addressed it in the bye week." He felt it was in the "attitude" of the Tigers offensive linemen that needed to change and become more aggressive in their blocking.
Watch for the Bulldogs' running back Gary Quarles to get an early start. His potency was neutralized by Grambling and made Glass and the A&M offense one dimensional.
The competing receiving corps are dynamic. Jackson State's Warren Newman, Keith Corbin and crew are up for the challenge against the Alabama A&M "Outlaws" with Abdul-Fatai Ibrahim and friends.
Saturday's SWAC tilt will be a good one. Will it be a classic? I don't know, but it sure has all of the makings for one.
We shall see.
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