A.J. Giardina's Monday Sports Report

By A.J. Giardina – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Next Monday the New Orleans Saints and the 49ers clash in San Francisco.  The Saints topped the Vikings 14 to 9 on Thursday while Seattle slammed the 49ers 31 to 8 on Sunday.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees met with a selected group of Bay High students Monday, kicking off the statewide educational video game "Financial Football." The young people were happy to meet Drew.

Brees says the New Orleans Saints have become America's team, especially after winning the Super bowl.

"I think everybody has an infinity for the Saints, " Brees exclaimed.  "I think everybody can identify with everything the people in this region have been through."

Brees added, "I'd like to think they are pulling for us this year as well.  I think we play an exciting brand of football offensively, defensively, all the way around.  Obviously we've got the greatest fans, no doubt.  So anytime we get into the Superdome everybody knows it will be rocking."

The Superdome will be rocking on September 26 when the Saints entertain the Atlanta Falcons at high noon.

It was announced on Monday that former New Orleans Saints offensive lineman Willie Roaf is one of five first-year eligible candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's class of 2011.

Roaf was named the NFL's 1990's All-Decade team.

Southern Miss was expected to bounce back under the win column against Prairie View after South Carolina slammed the Golden Eagles on national television on September 2nd.

Coach Larry Fedora watched his Golden Eagles take care of business posting a 34 to 7 victory before 27-thousand-plus fans on Saturday. Southern Miss wide receiver DeAndre Brown hauled in 5 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown.

The Golden Eagles now take aim on Kansas Friday night at 7 in Hattiesburg on national television.

"I don't mind playing at night. I don't mind playing on a Friday.  I don't mind playing on any day but really but I would really prefer to play on a Saturday," Fedora said. "But that's the way it will work out with ESPN and we're excited on being on and show casing what this university has on Friday night. "

The game gives the Golden Eagles another chance to redeem themselves for their poor showing on national television against South Carolina.

Fedora said, "I think our fans will be here, I think they'll be rabid. I think they'll get after it and I think The Rock is going to be a hard place to play."

Kansas is coming off an upset win over Georgia Tech.

The Gulfport GridIron Club is celebrating 47 years and tonight Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive was the featured speaker at the Gulfport Yacht Club.

Slive has high expectations once again in football, and no doubt, the SEC is the top conference in the college game and can back up that claim.

"Well we've had a tremendous run," Slive proudly proclaimed. "You know this is four National Championships in a row, five since 2003. And the way our teams are playing we're back in the hunt again."

It's early in the season but defending national champion Alabama under the direction of Nick Saban appear to be the team to beat.

Former Heisman Trophy winner and LSU standout Billy Cannon will be the featured speaker on September 20.  Cannon was the first six-figure player in pro football, signing with the Houston Oilers of the AFC in 1960.

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.