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Scoop Roundup: Deion Sanders trolled hard; cream rises in FCS battles

With great hype comes great responsibility.

This is the lesson of the weekend as it pertains to Deion Sanders and the Jackson State football program.

Almost unquestionably the most hyped Southwest Athletic Conference program in history, Jackson State suffered its first loss in the Sanders era Saturday at rival Alabama State.

It was a tied contest, 28-all, when the Hornets got a 50-yard scoring run from Ezra Gray. Alabama State won, 35-28.

Head coach Deion Sanders? Perfect no more.

That set the stage for an trolling performance of epic proportions: The Hornets flashed Sanders' NFL Draft Day photo of Sanders on the phone getting the Draft call as their prominent image on the Alabama State scoreboard.

Sanders, asked about the image post-game, was not pleased.

“Childish. It is what is is,” Sander said postgame. “They know they messed up. They didn't furnish tickets for our fans, they didn't let our team in the locker room to unpack everything until this morning.

“It was just childish, childish. It is what it is. I'm going to call them on it. They tried to respond. We've got to keep it on the field, make it about the kids, make it about the fans. It ain't about me.”

Controversy has courted Sanders in the early weeks of his debut as a head coach. Sanders said he was robbed during his debut game as Jackson State coach, something the school disputed, changed its stance and then issued wildly varying points of view.

The fact is Sanders' Tigers squad yielded 21 fourth-quarter points – and that has nothing to do with fans in the stands nor locker rooms being open when Sanders felt they should be.


Virginia Military Institute continued its best start in decades when it rallied past host Samford for a 38-37 overtime victory in Alabama.

The Keydets have now dispatched Furman, Western Carolina, Mercer and Samford in their first four games.

Big deal, right? Well, consider this:

VMI is just one win away from having five conference wins – the Southern Conference in this case – for the first time in program history.

The Keydets have games remaining against on the road at Wofford, headed by highly respect defensive mind Josh Conklin, and at home against ETSU and The Citadel to conclude the regular season.


The University of Tennessee at Martin, like many programs finding its footing through an up-and-down season, notched a massive rivalry win over the weekend.

The Skyhawks, led by veteran coach Jason Simpson, whose son, Ty Simpson, is a consensus top-50 prospect and Alabama commitment in the 2022 class, scored 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to get rid of rival Austin Peay over the weekend.

Austin Peay is the defending Ohio Valley Conference champions, but the Governors now have lost to Tennessee Tech and Martin in the spring portion of their schedule, under first-year coach Scotty Walden. They have narrow wins against Tennessee State and a double-overtime affair against Southeast Missouri State.

The Governors had been hyped as an OVC contender, but they've played themselves into the role of spoiler.


The Davidson Wildcats are a mere three points away from being undefeated, and they're one of the programs unquestionably on the rise in the Football Championship Subdivision.

The Wildcats, are a narrow, 26-23 loss inside the final minute at Elon away from being undefeated, have sprinted out to a 2-1 start and could be an FCS Playoffs contender.

Davidson has roadies left at at San Diego and Presbyterian, which the Wildcats defeated this weekend by 17 points, as well as home affairs against Morehead State and Stetson.

Davidson's unorthodox offense as well as its attacking defense and special teams make the Wildcats a tough matchup for any foe.


North Dakota State was the lower-ranked team in an intrastate rivalry clash over the weekend against surprising newcomer North Dakota.

The Bison stampeded to an early edge and never were really threatened in a dominant, 34-13 win against their rivals.

North Dakota entered as the nation's No. 2-ranked FCS squad; the Bison were No. 4. That's absolutely changing on the heels of the Bison's dominant performance, which saw N.D. State outgain the Hawks by a 456-303 margin and possess the ball for almost 37 minutes.

It's an unusual spring season, but things are normal as it pertains to the Bison: they're rounding into dominant form.