Daily Journal

TUPELO -The undefeated Mississippi MudCats' lineup will see some changes this week -and a later kickoff time.

Tonight's game at BancorpSouth Arena against the Florence (S.C.) Phantoms starts at 8:30 p.m. to allow time to reconfigure the facility after today's Grand Slam basketball games.

Mississippi (5-0) is the last remaining unbeaten team in the American Indoor Football Association. Florence (1-2) has lost two straight.

The Mudcats have added receiver Joel Babb and two-way player Anthony Morris, while lineman Gary Jenkins has signed with the New Orleans VooDoo of the af2 league.

Babb was introduced at a news conference Thursday.

"That's a real upgrade for us at the position," MudCats coach Brian Brents said.

Babb (6-foot-2, 210) was the second-leading receiver in the Intense Football League last year as a teammate of current MudCats quarterback Tommy Jones.

Babb made 118 catches for 1,507 yards and 27 touchdown passes last season in his third season with the Roughnecks.

"He's a big target for Tommy and a good mentor for our young receivers," Brents said.

At the University of Alabama, walk-on Babb shared the 2002 Bear Bryant (best non-scholarship player) spring football award.

The departure of the 320-pound Jenkins from the offensive line will move former Mississippi State lineman Donald Tucker into the starting lineup.

"As a staff, we're accustomed to having players leave, though we haven't had one leave this soon," Brents said of Jenkins, a New Orleans native. "It's important that our backups be ready to step up into those roles when needed."

The MudCats, who escaped Tallahassee with a 62-58 win against the host Titans last Saturday, are home this week for their first BancorpSouth Arena game since Feb. 24.

Tonight marks the first of two home games for the MudCats, who'll entertain Baltimore on March 24.

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