Nick Andrews caught a career-high 10 passes for 104 yards and a career-high three touchdowns as Alabama State defeated Mississippi Valley State 41-9 in the season opener for both teams at Rice-Totten Stadium.
Alabama State (1-0, 1-0 in Southwestern Athletic Conference) trailed 6-0 early before the offense got in gear. QB Greg Jenkins threw three first-half touchdown passes to Andrews, whose explosive night moved him up the Hornets' career receiving charts.
"It was the first-game jitters," head coach Reggie Barlow said of his team's slow start. "You never know how these guys will come out and play in the first game. We got off to a slow start, but once we got settled in and started playing, we played the way we know we can play. We were able to score some points and we're excited about that."
Andrews caught touchdown passes of 36, 5 and 8 yards in the first half as the Hornets led 21-6 at halftime. He is now second all-time in receptions (134), seventh in receiving yards (1,772) and fifth in touchdown receptions (20).
"It's a blessing to have such a big night," Andrews said. "I'm just glad to have the opportunity to play with these guys and they got me the ball often to score three times tonight."
The ASU defense forced seven takeaways in the game and kept the Delta Devils out of the end zone.
"Whenever you can get not only seven of them, but start the season off +7 (in turnover ratio), that's outstanding," Barlow said. "To get that many is a great start to the season and we want to continue that."
QB Garrick Jones rushed 14 times for 113 yards and passed for 121 yards to lead Mississippi Valley State (0-1, 0-1).
Following a third MVSU field goal in the third quarter, Jenkins scored on a 12-yard touchdown run and Bobby Wenzig added two field goals as Alabama State led 34-9 after three quarters.
Jenkins completed 19 of 27 passes for 188 yards with three touchdowns and rushed for a fourth as Alabama State won its season opener for the third straight year.
Devin Dominguez threw an eight-yard scoring pass to T.C. WcWilliams to end the scoring in the fourth quarter.
Kynjee Cotton made 11 tackles and one sack, while Kejuan Riley made an interception.