Headline: UAPB looks to stay in SWAC Title chase at Jackson State

Byline: Special to The Commercial

The University of Arkansas At Pine Bluff football team will play its first road game in six weeks Saturday night in an important 6 p.m. Southwestern Athletic Conference game at Jackson St.


Matchup: Arkansas at Pine Bluff Golden Lions (5-3, 2-2 SWAC) at Jackson St. Tigers (3-5, 2-1 SWAC)

Time, Location: 6 p.m., Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium

Tickets, Stadium Policies: Gates Open at 4 p.m.; http://www.ms-veteransstadium.com/facility-guide; Everyone aged 18 and under admitted free

Radio: UAPB Sports Network Pregame show begins at 5:30 p.m. on KPBA FM 99.3 The Beat in Pine Bluff; KARN 920 AM The Sports Animal in Little Rock

Listen Online: uapblionsroar.com/live and on free UAPB Athletics Mobile App

Video: https://www.facebook.com/Jsutv/

Both the Golden Lions and Tigers are in the hunt for the Cricket Wireless SWAC Championship Game approximately one month from now on Dec. 7. The scenario for UAPB is to win the Western Division is to win its last three games combined with two losses by Southern and one loss by Grambling in the final month of the season.

The Golden Lions currently are one loss behind Southern and tied in the loss column with Grambling. The more immediate need is a Saturday night win, which would also clinch a winning season for UAPB football for the first time since 2012.

“Those four letters (UAPB), we’re going to be ready,” Thomas said. “I like our team on the road. We kind of get away from the distractions. We had a home stretch (of four games in a row). Now we get to lock them in the hotel rooms and sit there and eat hotel food and really just get Adderall-focused on the Tigers.”

Jackson State has rallied from a slow start to the season with a pair of impressive overtime road wins. The Tigers control their destiny for the Eastern Division title - win their last four games and they clinch a title game berth.

“It’s just the bloodline of that football team,” Thomas said. “Here’s a team that lost to a D2 school (Kentucky State) after a big win versus Tennessee State, and they could have easily just hung it up. They come in versus Valley (to win) in overtime, and then go on the road on a short week to play a good explosive Prairie View team. When you look at teams like that, you’re not going to be able to scare them. The x’s and o’s and all of that is fine, but at the end of the day it’s going to be a physical, good football team. That’s what the head man (HC John Hendrick) laid the foundation as.”