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Scoop Roundup: Why Deion Sanders gifted a rival a pink scooter; Wake Forest's awakening, Vols' 'Heup' and Bayou bad times

Deion Sanders gets the last word on a rival; Dave Clawson has Wake Forest soaring, Josh Heupel has a rare chance at Tennessee & it's Oh-no Ed-O at LSU.
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Alabama A&M coach Connell Maynor last week helped hype his Bulldogs' matchup with Deion Sanders' Jackson State squad when Maynor publicly asked Sanders for a scooter.

Appearing on the Southwestern Athletic Conference Coaches' weekly video conference, Maynor closed his remarks with a plea for Sanders to loan him an extra scooter for a sore foot.

Maynor's barb was in reference to Sanders' having to use a medical scooter last month after needing surgery on his foot.

Saturday, as Jackson State avenged its spring loss to Alabama A&M in a major way, Sanders also made good on Maynor's request for a scooter.

He delivered the Alabama A&M coach a a pink, three-wheeled toddler scooter with a Jackson State logo slapped on the scooter's base.

The Tigers routed the Bulldogs, 61-15, in a game they led 54-7 moving into the fourth quarter.

JSU improved to 4-1 on the season and finally got its offense untracked; the Tigers' 61 points in that game were just 15 fewer than they had scored combined in their first four games.

The Tigers host Alabama State, 3-2 overall and 2-1 in SWAC play, Saturday in their “blue-out” homecoming game.

DAVE CLAWSON WAKES 'EM UP

Perhaps a bit quietly, with a professorial disposition and stoic demeanor, Dave Clawson has the Wake Forest Demon Deacons' program as the second-most consistent football team in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

And this year, the Deacs presently stand alone as the ACC's only undefeated team; Wake is 6-0 after outlasting Louisville and Syracuse, in overtime, by three points apiece the past two weeks.

The last time Wake was 6-0? 1944.

The Demon Deacons' last time to begin their ACC campaign 4-0? Never.

Wake now also officially is bowl eligible, a sixth-straight season with postseason potential.

After opening in Winston-Salem with consecutive three-win seasons, Clawson since has posted five-consecutive bowl trips, four seasons of seven or more wins and sits just one win away from a fifth such campaign.

After an off date this Saturday, Wake returns with a non-conference game at Army Oct. 23 before wrapping its season with five consecutive ACC games. The Deacs host Duke (Oct. 30) and N.C. State (Nov. 13) as well as travel to North Carolina (Nov. 6), Clemson (Nov. 20) and Boston College (Nov. 27).

It's been 14 years since the Wake program had at least a nine-win season and 15 years since its last – and only – double-digit wins campaign. The 2006 Wake Forest squad, led by Jim Grobe, won 11 games and played in the Orange Bowl.

FIRST-YEAR HEUP

Tennessee remains under the cloud of an NCAA investigation into the recruiting tactics of previous head coach Jeremy Pruitt, and it's playing this season far below the NCAA-allowed 85-scholarship limit for a variety of reasons.

Those include the inevitable upheaval of a regime change, especially amidst an investigation, and an entirely different, top to bottom, coaching staff for the third time since 2017.

Turnover means turnover.

Yet first-year Vols coach Josh Heupel has his team sitting 4-2 after thoroughly dominant performances at Missouri and home against South Carolina the past two weeks.

The Gamecocks also are in rebuild mode under first-year coach Shane Beamer, and Missouri is still finding its footing in year 2 under Eli Drinkwitz – who, similar to first-year Auburn coach Bryan Harsin – already has fired an assistant coach.

Still, the Vols' past two wins by a combined 107-44 margin in SEC play gives Heupel a shot at another rarity on Rocky Top.

Tennessee hosts Ole Miss Saturday night under the lights in Neyland Stadium with a chance to win a third-straight conference game.

That's only previously been done by the Vols three times since 2010: Derek Dooley did so in November 2010 to get the team bowl eligible; Butch Jones did so in 2015 as part of a season-ending six-game winning streak; Pruitt did so in 2019.

For Heupel & Co. to produce that feat right now, they must defeat a nationally ranked Ole Miss squad that's been tabbed a 3.5-point favorite on gambling lines. The Rebels are, of course, coached by former Tennessee head man Lane Kiffin, who did not win three-straight SEC games in his one-year cameo atop the program in 2009 but did guide the Vols to a blowout-win against Georgia and an end-of-year appearance in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl.

OH NEAUX

The heat is cranking ever-higher on LSU coach Ed Orgeron, merely some 20 months since his Tigers ran roughshod through college football en route to the 2019 College Football Playoff championship.

Since then, however, Orgeron has had massive staff turnover and LSU has slumped to a .500 program.

The Tigers are 8-8 in their past 16 games.

Worse still: LSU is losing too often via blowouts. Six of those eight Tigers' losses since the start of the 2020 season are by double digits and include 37- and 38-point losses last year to Auburn and Alabama, respectively, as well as this past weekend's 21-point loss at Kentucky.

EASTERN'S ASCENDANCE

Eastern Washington has been a program on the rise, and in the spring, FootballScoop chronicled the Eagles' ascension as they soared into the Spring 2021 Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

This fall, the Eagles are flying even higher. They've opened the season 6-0 – best-ever start for the program at the FCS level – and already own a season-opening triumph at FBS UNLV and a 34-28 win against then-No. 4 Montana.

In that game, the Eagles needed a 24-point fourth quarter to rally to the improbable win.

EWU is led by a pair of offensive stars: running back Dennis Merritt is on pace for a 1,000-yard campaign with 556 yards and 11 touchdowns; quarterback Eric Barriere already has 2,467 yards passing and 21 touchdowns against just five picks. He's completing 68.6% of his tosses and carries a 177.36 rating.