By Donald Hunt
For The Birmingham Times
Legion Field has been a busy place for college football. A week ago, the stadium featured an exciting contest, which saw Alabama A&M edge Alabama State, 42-41, in overtime in the Magic City Classic. Well, there will be a great Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) matchup between Miles College (5-3 overall, 4-2 league) and No. 14 ranked Tuskegee University (7-1 overall, 5-1 league) on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 5 p.m.
Miles College is coming off a 34-17 victory over Clark Atlanta last week. In that contest, the Golden Bears had stellar performances from Cedric Poole and Nicc Dance. Poole was named the SIAC Special Teams Player of the Week. He had an 83-yard punt return for a touchdown. The Golden Bears 6-foot senior cornerback had five solo tackles and two interceptions, too.
Dance was chosen as the SIAC Newcomer of the Week. Dance had an interception returned 55 yards for a score. The 5-foot-11 senior linebacker chipped in with two solo tackles.
Tuskegee has some momentum heading into this game with its 35-21 win over Kentucky State. The Golden Tigers received a spectacular effort from middle linebacker Quavon Taylor who had 15 total and eight solo tackles. Taylor, a 6-foot-1 junior, was selected as the SIAC Defensive Player of the Week.
In Southwestern Athletic Conference action, Alabama State will be looking to bounce back after a tough loss to its arch rival Alabama A&M in the Magic City Classic. Alabama State (2-6 overall, 2-5 league) will host Jackson State (3-5 overall, 3-3 league) on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 2 p.m.
The Hornets are capable of scoring points. They have senior running back Khalid Thomas who had a tremendous game against the Bulldogs. Thomas had 24 carries for 170 yards and one touchdown. In addition, he had three punt returns for 115 yards. Thomas is capable of making a big play at any time.
On defense, senior linebacker Kourtney Berry plays the run extremely well. Berry had nine total tackles in the loss to Alabama A&M.
Alabama A&M (3-5 overall, 3-4 league) will have its hands full with Grambling State (5-1 overall, 5-0 league). The Bulldogs will entertain the Tigers on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 2 p.m. Grambling State is one of the top teams in the SWAC.
Alabama A&M senior quarterback De’Angelo Ballard is one of the league’s most exciting players. Ballard can run and throw the football. He completed 19-of-35 passes for 290 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 19 carries for 101 yards against Alabama State.
Ballard and freshman running back Jordan Bentley, who had 15 carries for 80 yards and two touchdowns in the win over the Hornets, will need that kind of production against the Grambling State Tigers.