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HBCU Roundup Week 6: Alabama A&M-Jackson State matchup showcases top quarterbacks

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Alabama A&M's Aqeel Glass threw for an NCAA Division I Era program record of 446 yards on 36 of 62 passing with four TDs against Grambling State last week. (Alabama A&M)

By Donald Hunt

Special to the Birmingham Times

Alabama A&M will entertain Jackson State on Saturday in a huge Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) showdown. The kickoff will be at 2 p.m.

Alabama A&M (1-1 SWAC, 3-1 overall) was upset by Grambling State, 37-28, dropping the Bulldogs from No. 1 to No.4 in the Boxtorow HBCU Coaches Poll. Meanwhile, Jackson State (1-0 SWAC, 3-1 overall) moved from No. 2 to No. 1 in the poll. This is a matchup of two of the best HBCU football teams in the country.

The focus will be on the quarterbacks in this contest. Jackson State is led by freshman signal caller Shedeur Sanders who has connected on 101 of 141 passes for 1,093 yards with seven TDs and just one interception. Sanders is the son of Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders. The 6-2, 215-pounder, is the second leading passer in the SWAC behind Alabama A&M field general Aqeel Glass who leads the conference with 1,511 yards which include 14 TDs and six interceptions. Four of those interceptions came in the loss to Grambling State. Despite the four picks, Glass, a 6-5, 215-pound graduate, threw for an NCAA Division I Era program record 446 yards on 36 of 62 passing with four TDs.

In another SWAC contest, Alabama State (1-1 SWAC, 2-2 overall) will host Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-2 SWAC, 1-3 overall) on Saturday at 2 p.m.

ASU will try to get its offense in high gear after being shutout 28-0 to Florida A&M. The Hornets may want to move the ball through the air. ASU’s top receivers are Jeremiah Hixon and Wallace Corker. Hixon, a 5-10, 164-pound redshirt sophomore, is the team’s leading receiver with 19 receptions for 238 yards and one TD. Corker, a 6-3, 168-pound redshirt junior, has 15 catches for 151 yards and one TD.

In Birmingham, the 85th annual Morehouse-Tuskegee Classic will be played on Saturday at Legion Field. The kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Tuskegee University (1-0 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, SIAC, 2-3 overall) comes into this matchup with some momentum from its 23-6 victory over Edward Waters. Morehouse (0-1 SIAC, 0-5 overall) has really struggled this season. The Maroon Wave are still looking for their first win.

The Golden Tigers have been able to move the football extremely well the last two games. Tuskegee University has two major playmakers on offense. Running back Ivonte Patterson is on pace to rush for 1,000 yards this season. Patterson has 87 carries for 445 yards and six touchdowns. The 5-11, 200-pound senior, is averaging 5.1 yards a carry.

Wide receiver Steven Hodges has 15 receptions for 255 yards. Hodges is averaging 17.0 yards a catch. The 5-10, 185-pound senior, can turn a short pass into a big play.

Defensively, linebacker Wesly Appolon has been a real force for the Golden Tigers. Appolon, a 6-4, 225-pound junior, is the team’s leading tackler with 41 stops. He also has one sack and one tackle-for-loss.

In other SIAC action, Miles College (1-1 SIAC, 2-3 overall) will host Benedict on Saturday at 4 p.m. and is looking to bounce back after a 31-3 drubbing at the hands of Albany State. This is the last of three consecutive home games for the Golden Bears. Benedict (0-3 SIAC, 2-3 overall) has lost its last three games.

Miles College will lean on running back Donte Edwards who is averaging 5.4 yards a carry. The 6-0, 225-pound redshirt junior, has gained 430 yards on 80 carries while scoring two touchdowns.

On defense, linebacker Mitchell Smiley has performed at a high level. Smiley is the Golden Bears’ leading tackler with 29 stops. The 5-11, 205-pound junior, has 1.5 tackles for loss and two interceptions.

SIAC Schedule (Oct. 9)

Benedict at Miles College 4 p.m. Fairfield, AL

Central State at Fort Valley State 2 p.m. Fort Valley, Ga.

Edward Waters at Albany State 2 p.m. Albany, Ga.

Allen University at Clark Atlanta 2 p.m. Atlanta, Ga.

Lane at Kentucky State 3 p.m. Frankfort, Ky

Erskine College at Savannah State 6 p.m. Savannah, Ga.

Tuskegee at Morehouse 7 p.m. Birmingham, AL

SIAC Standings

SIAC East

SIAC                Overall

Savannah State             3-0                  4-1

Albany State                  2-0                  4-1

Fort Valley State            1-0                  3-2

Benedict                        0-3                  2-3

Clark Atlanta                  0-2                  1-4

Morehouse                      0-1                  0-5

 

SIAC West

SIAC                Overall

Miles College                       1-1                  2-3

Lane                                   0-0                  4-1

Kentucky State                   1-1                  2-3

Tuskegee University            1-0                  2-3

Central State                      0-1                  1-4

Allen University                   0-0                  3-2

Edward Waters                   0-0                  2-3

 

SWAC Schedule (Oct. 9)

Grambling State at Alcorn State 2 p.m. Lorman, Miss.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Alabama State 2 p.m. Montgomery, AL

Jackson State at Alabama A&M 2 p.m. Huntsville, AL

Mississippi Valley State at Bethune-Cookman 3 p.m. Daytona Beach, FL

Southern at Texas Southern 4 p.m. Arlington, Texas

South Carolina State at Florida A&M 5 p.m. Tallahassee, FL

 

SWAC Standings

SWAC East

SWAC             Overall

Jackson State                   1-0                  3-1

Alabama A&M                   1-1                  3-1

Alabama State                   1-1                  2-2

Florida A&M                       1-1                  2-2

Mississippi Valley State        0-1                  1-3

Bethune-Cookman              0-2                  0-5

 

SWAC West

Prairie View A&M               3-0                  4-1

Alcorn State                      1-0                  2-2

Southern                           1-0                  2-2

Grambling State                  1-1                  2-3

Texas Southern                   0-1                  0-3

Arkansas-Pine Bluff               0-2                  1-3

 

Match of the Week

Jackson State at Alabama A&M 2 p.m. Huntsville, AL