College football finally kicks off tonight. After a long wait, we can watch games with something at stake for the winners and losers.
The action begins with the border rivalry between ACC's North Carolina Tar Heels and their SEC foes, the South Carolina Gamecocks, at 5 p.m. Former USM coach Larry Fedora coaches the Tar Heels, and South Carolina faces Mississippi State later in the year.
Mississippi football fans can dig in for the games starting at 7 p.m. when Jackson State University makes its 2013 debut on the road against FBS and Conference USA member Tulane University.
The Tigers have a real chance of a win when they face the Green Wave. Tulane has never been a football powerhouse. The Green Wave has enjoyed successful seasons in the past but it's not a year-in, year-out elite football program, and hasn't had a winning season since 2002, when the program went 8-5. The team has struggled to rebuild since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005. Last season, the Green Wave won just two games; Ole Miss routed Tulane 39-0.
JSU isn't a stranger to opening up on the road—last season, the Tigers opened the season against Mississippi State. Currently, Jackson State is a 25-point underdog in tonight's game, which makes it seem like Las Vegas is overvaluing the Green Wave and undervaluing the Tigers.
The Tigers will need defense to keep them in the game with Tulane so they can steal it late. It will be possible for Jackson State to stay within striking distance if the Tigers can force multiple turnovers and protect the ball when they are on offense.
JSU cornerback Qua Cox could get a chance to make some big-time plays and help his draft stock in the only game this season against an FBS opponent. Cox and the rest of his defensive teammates need to come up big tonight.
Listen to the game on Hallelujah 95.5 FM, or join JSU fans for the trip to the Superdome in New Orleans.
Fans across the state also will get a first look at the Ole Miss Rebels when they face the Vanderbilt Commodores on ESPN after the UNC and USC game. The Rebels are currently a three-point underdog.