Even though the G-Men defeated Alcorn State 21-14 in last year’s Port City Classic game, the Tigers can’t strategically create a game plan off previous game film.
Melvin Spears, Tigers head coach Doug Williams’ first cousin, had been released from his head coaching duties at Alcorn St., leaving the G-Men with uncertainty. Jay Hopson, the first white head coach in the SWAC, replaced Spears.
Key senior linebacker Edward Patterson said at Saturday’s Media and Fun Day press conference, “It’s a new coaching staff, we really don’t know what to expect, you know?”
“We got film on (Alcorn’s offensive coordinator Willie Simmons) and where he comes from in Middle Tennessee, but we don’t know what to expect from him.”
Fan and Media day provided the opportunity to gain some insight on the Tigers’ highly anticipated upcoming season for the local media and fans.
There is a lot at stake for the Tigers this season as they are projected to finish first in the SWAC West.
For safety precautions, the Tigers lightly practiced game like situations as the Saturday morning events kicked off, including a press conference with interviews from the players and coaches.
Starting quarterback D.J. Williams started things going by stating that his biggest improvement from the previous season was his confidence.
Williams admits that his team’s confidence in him and his own comfort within the offense will allow him to work more effectively in the pocket. He is motivated to becoming the best player for the G-Men.
Confidence is the least bit of the Tigers concerns. Preseason’s first team all defender, Jacarde Carter stated that the G-Men are confident going into every game, but the team’s biggest concern regarding the season opener is their lack of knowledge of the Braves’ offensive game plan.
Williams said the Tigers have been working on fundamentals and preparing physically and mentally.
He also agreed with Patterson in the notion that the team’s biggest concern was not knowing what to expect from the Braves’ offense.
“We don’t have a lot like Bud (Patterson) stated on them because the head coach lasted only two games at Memphis, so we got a little bit of that,” said Williams.
Despite the lack of film on Alcorn for preparation purposes, Williams is still confident that if the team execute accordingly they’ll come out victorious.
“They (Alcorn) got an upper hand on us I think from a stand point of having our film from not their games, but our last two or three football games. They got a chance to see what we really did and what we like to do.”
He added, “But at the same time, I think it’s important that we go out and execute no matter what they do, if (Grambling) play the way (they’re) capable of playing it’ll take care of itself.”
Carter and Patterson will replace the leadership void of former fierce linebacker Cliff Exama. As leadership will be much needed on a team on a team loaded with inexperience; the 2012 Tiger roster consist of 42 freshmen.
In spite of the youth on the roster, Patterson said the team’s chemistry is still intact.
This Saturday in Shreveport at 6 p.m., the young but confident G-Men will enter Independence Stadium uncertain about Alcorn’s game plan. But one thing is for certain; Alcorn is their first stop on the road to the SWAC Championship.