Deion Sanders won his spring debut as head coach, and he won his full-season debut as head coach Sunday.
Sanders' Jackson State Tigers staved off Willie Simmons' Florida A&M squad, 7-6, in the Orange Blossom Classic in Miami.
The two teams combined for 21 penalties and five turnovers, though neither team's quarterback – both were freshmen making their collegiate debuts, including Sanders' son, Shedeur – tossed an interception.
Once the game ended, Sanders on Sunday evening shifted his focus onto shining a light on the players – not just from his school, either.
Sanders was miffed that while his Tigers' players had brand-new gleaming chrome helmets and white jerseys with their last names stenciled on their backs, the Rattlers' players did not – largely common in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
"Why do we don't do that in this SWAC?," asked Sanders, after his fifth win in eight games as a head coach, according to the (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger. "Is it that expensive to put their name on the back of the jersey? Don't you think his mom and them want to see the baby('s) name on the back of the jerseys? Don't you think his siblings, his friends, his family, his loved ones (want to see the name)?"
Sanders went on to describe his team's experience at the Orange Blossom Classic as bowl-like, but he professed he expected a restless night.
“This was like a bowl week for us. And it's going to be hard, all the other classics, it's going to be hard to top this,” Sanders said in his post-game press conference. “It's like my first real classic. Home state. FAMU right around the corner. I love it, we enjoyed ourselves today. …
“We'll fix it. We'll clean it up. It was a great win. It was a great win. I'm always critical, that's who I am a perfectionist. It's going to be hard to sleep tonight. But I'd rather sleep with a dub than sleep with an L.”
Sanders' Tigers are in yet another prime affair next weekend, facing the Tennessee State Tigers, including brand-new head coach and former NFL All-Pro Eddie George, in the Southern Heritage Classic in Memphis' Liberty Bowl.