Jackson State football updates times for home games in unconventional spring season

Nick Suss
Mississippi Clarion Ledger

Deion Sanders' first season as football coach at Jackson State won't look like many others. 

Jackson State will be playing an eight-game spring schedule beginning Feb. 21 after the SWAC moved its games from the fall to the spring because of an abundance of caution caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most other SWAC schools are playing six-game schedules with no nonconference games, but Jackson State is playing two nonconference games, including one against a fellow SWAC squad.

The Tigers open the year against Edwards Waters on a significant date. Sanders wore No. 21 during his playing days, and he's the 21st football coach in Jackson State history. Hence scheduling a game on the 21st before other SWAC teams start. Also, the game is on a Sunday and wasn't announced until after after the arrival of Sanders.

On April 3, Jackson State will host Southern. The two schools are SWAC rivals and have played at least once a season since 1958. But this spring, the matchup will be a nonconference affair to preserve the rivalry streak. 

The two schools agreed to play this nonconference matchup in September after the SWAC released a schedule that didn't include the yearly rivalry game on it. Playing another SWAC school in a nonconference game is something that JSU did last season to preserve its rivalry with Grambling, as well.

Jackson State also announced a few changes to its game times for the spring on Tuesday. The first four home games against Edward Waters, Mississippi Valley State (Feb. 27), Prairie View A&M (March 27) and Southern will all begin at 1 p.m. The final home game of the year against Alabama A&M on April 10 will begin at 2 p.m.

A Jackson State spokesperson told the Clarion Ledger times could be tentative because the SWAC is still engaging in talks with ESPN about games being broadcast across its platforms.

Times have not been announced for Jackson State's three road games.

Jackson State's spring football schedule

  • Feb. 21: vs. Edward Waters (1 p.m.)
  • Feb. 27: vs. Mississippi Valley State (1 p.m.)
  • March 6: at Grambling (Time TBD)
  • March 20: at Alabama State (Time TBD)
  • March 27: vs. Prairie View A&M (1 p.m.)
  • April 3: vs. Southern (1 p.m.)
  • April 10: vs. Alabama A&M (2 p.m.)
  • April 17: at Alcorn State (Time TBD)

Contact Nick Suss at 601-408-2674 or nsuss@gannett.com. Follow @nicksuss on Twitter.