A passionate Alabama football rivalry will be renewed after a 10-year hiatus when North Alabama plays at Jacksonville State Saturday.
The teams first met in 1949 and played each other regularly through 2003, mostly as members of the Gulf South Conference before JSU moved to the Ohio Valley Conference. The Gamecocks lead the series 23-18-3.
"We know what this rivalry means and we have already talked to the players about what it means," said JSU coach Bill Clark.
For UNA coach Bobby Wallace, the game is a chance to eliminate one of the few winless marks in his 25-year head coaching career. Wallace was 0-7 against JSU from 1988-92 during his first stint with the Lions.
"It's been a while since we've played, but playing them means a lot to our older fans and this game means a lot to us as a team," Wallace said.
JSU (2-0) enters the game off a record-setting rushing performance in last week's victory over Jacksonville University.
"They have great running backs, they're very fast, and they can basically run two different offenses with their two quarterbacks," Wallace said.
The Lions (1-0) opened their season with a 42-7 victory over Miles. Sophomore running back Lamonte Thompson led the way with 189 yards on 14 carries, including touchdown runs of 38 and 69 yards.
"North Alabama has a lot of great players like that," Clark said. "They will be as good as anyone we will play in our conference."
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Tuskegee at Albany State, 6 p.m.
A conference opener between Tuskegee and Albany State will be a meeting of the SIAC's two most successful programs of the past 20 years.
Since 1992, the teams have won 16 SIAC championships combined — nine by Albany State and seven by Tuskegee. One or both of them have shared three others.
The Golden Tigers recorded a season-opening 23-7 victory over Alabama A&M. Albany State lost to North Greenville 26-24 on a last-minute field goal.
Alabama A&M at South Carolina St., 5 p.m.
Alabama A&M coach Anthony Jones will return to the school where he was an assistant coach for six years when the Bulldogs (1-1) take on South Carolina State (0-2).
Both teams are trying to rebound from losses last week. A&M fell to Tuskegee 23-9, while SC State was beaten by Clemson 52-13.