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Jackson State football has an open week as the Tigers get ready to host Prairie View in the SWAC Championship game on Dec. 4.
"We get a head start on just preparing for Prairie View and they have another game left where they have to drive," Sanders said Monday. "I don’t know who did their schedule, they just got finished with Texas A&M, they have to drive all the way to Mississippi Valley, then they have to drive back, then they have to drive all the way back right here to Mississippi for us. I don’t know who did their schedule, but I’m thankful they did it. Tell them God bless 'em."
Prairie View (7-3, 6-1 SWAC), which has lost two in a row, was demolished 52-3 by Texas A&M last week. On top of that, while Jackson State (10-1, 8-1) gets to rest, Prairie View plays Mississippi Valley State (3-7, 2-5) on at home on Saturday. They'll be at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium seven days later for a 3 p.m. contest televised on ESPN2.
The timing of the Texas A&M game on Prairie View's schedule stuck out to Sanders.
"That's exhausting. And there's no way I would schedule my team against a Power Five team at the conclusion of the season," Sanders said. "You do that at the beginning of the season, man you don't do that to those kids mentally right now. I just watched the quarterback get hit so hard I fell. I fell when I watched them on that backside blitz that they didn't pick up."
Sanders also pointed out how tough the schedule makes it for Prairie View fans to travel.
"It's going to be a good game. It's going to be a wonderful game," Sanders said. "I'm just praying that all our fans pour into the stadium and we want to expect at least 50,000, that's what we desire, that's what we want. It's going to be hard for those fans to come all the way down from Houston, especially if they're just coming from Houston to Mississippi back to back, I don't think that's going to happen."
Meanwhile, it's back to work for the Tigers after beating Alcorn State 24-10.
"We practice on Sundays, we work, we get it in," Sanders said. The guys that played 70 percent of the plays, they don’t have to do anything physical, but we have to fix what we messed up. And the guys that didn’t play 70 percent of the plays, that’s the way we develop guys. That’s why we choose to go on Sundays and make sure they aint out there doing nothing stupid on Satuday nights
This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Deion Sanders explains why Prairie View's schedule will hurt them in SWAC title game