By Donald Hunt
For The Birmingham Times
After battling Alabama State to overtime last week in a 14-13 loss, Miles College (0-1) will face another team from the Southwestern Athletic Conference on Saturday, Sept. 11 when it faces Southern University (0-1). The Golden Bears will visit the Jaguars in Baton Rouge, La., with a 6 p.m. kickoff.
In Week 1, the Golden Bears stepped up in competition playing the Hornets, an FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) team from the SWAC. Miles more than held its own against ASU in the Labor Day Classic. If they can take that same effort to Southern, it’s possible they could get a victory on the road.
Offensively, running back Donte Edwards had a strong performance rushing for 107 yards on 20 carries against ASU. Edwards averaged 5.4 yards a carry.
On defense, Miles College had two standouts with linebackers Andrew Gaylor and Mitchell Smiley. Gaylor posted 11 total and five solo tackles. Smiley had eight total and five solo stops.
The Golden Bears would like to grab a FCS win before they begin regular season play in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) the following week.
In other action in the SIAC, Tuskegee University (0-1) got off to a rough start losing 30-0 to Fort Valley State University (FVSU) in the inaugural Red Tails Classic at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery. The Golden Tigers struggled on both sides of the football and will look to make adjustments this week hosting West Alabama (1-0) on Saturday, Sept. 11 at 1 p.m.
The Golden Tigers will look to bounce back after losing the season opener. Tuskegee head coach Willie Slater will try to get wide receiver Steven Hodges more involved with the offense. Hodges had two receptions for 46 yards against FVSU.
In the SWAC, Alabama State (1-0) fresh off its overtime win over Miles College will visit Auburn (1-0) from the powerhouse Division I Southeastern Conference on Saturday, Sept. 11. The kickoff is set for 11 a.m. on the SEC Network.
Auburn is coming off a 60-10 victory over Akron last week. It’s going to be important for ASU to control the tempo in this contest. The Hornets want to limit the Tigers scoring opportunities.
The best way to do that is to rely on their running game. The Hornets’ leading rusher is Ezra Gray who can run between the tackles and get to the outside with his speed. Gray had 10 carries for 67 yards in the win over Miles College. He averaged 6.7 yards a carry.
On defense, the Hornets will need their playmakers to be key performers against the Tigers. ASU linebackers Irshaad Davis (eight total and four solo tackles) and former Ramsay High School football star Austin Brundidge (six total and four solo tackles) were playmakers against the run. In the secondary, cornerback Jake Howard was a steady player. Howard contributed six total tackles.
Lastly, Alabama A&M graduate quarterback Aqeel Glass earned SWAC Player of the Week honors. Glass led Alabama A&M to an exciting 42-41 win over South Carolina State. He completed 28-of-49 passes for 426 yards and four touchdown passes. Glass also ran for another score.
Alabama A&M (1-0) will return to action on Thursday, Sept. 16 against conference newcomer Bethune-Cookman (0-1) in Daytona Beach, Fla. The game will be televised on ESPNU at 6:30 p.m.