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HBCU Showdown: Alabama St. Battles Jackson St. for First Place

Myles Crawley, Alabama State freshman quarterback (Alabama State University)

By Donald Hunt

The football season is really heating up in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) with marquee teams, players and matchups. This week Alabama State University will face a huge test against red-hot Jackson State on Saturday, Oct. 16 in Jackson, MS. The kickoff will be at 2 p.m.

ASU (2-1 SWAC, 3-2 overall) will visit a Tigers (2-0 SWAC, 4-1 overall) team coming off a huge 61-15 win over Alabama A&M last week. Jackson State is led by freshman quarterback Shedeur Sanders, the son of Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders. Shedeur is the second leading passer in the SWAC and has thrown for 1,342 yards with 11 touchdowns and just one interception. The Tigers are in the first place in the SWAC East.

Defensively, ASU will rely on cornerback Irshaad Davis and linebacker Nicholas Terry to keep Jackson State from getting those chunk plays with its ability to pass and run the football. Davis and Terry have been terrific defenders for the Hornets. Davis has 32 total tackles, 3.5 tackles-for-loss, one sack and one interception. Terry has 20 total tackles, 4.5 tackles-for-loss and three quarterback hurries.

A player to watch on offense for ASU is freshman signal caller Myles Crawley who had a great performance in the team’s 35-15 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Crawley completed 20-of-28 passes for 292 yards with four TDs and one interception. The Hornets could use another big game from Crawley against the Tigers.

In other SWAC action, Alabama A&M (1-2 SWAC, 3-2 overall) will entertain Florida A&M (1-1 SWAC, 3-2 overall) on Saturday. The kickoff is set for 1 p.m. The Bulldogs are looking to snap a two-game losing streak. Alabama A&M is also looking to bounce back following a lopsided loss to Jackson State.

Alabama A&M will get its offense in high gear behind quarterback Aqeel Glass who has put together a sensational year. Glass is the SWAC’s leading passer.  He has completed 139-of-225 passes for 1,804 yards with 16 TDs and six interceptions. Bulldogs running back Gary Quarles leads the conference in rushing with 478 yards on 100 carries. He also has four TDs.

Alabama A&M has really struggled on defense over the last two games and could use some stops against the Rattlers. Safety Trenell Troutman has been a solid playmaker for A&M with 29 total tackles and three interceptions.

In the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC), Miles College (1-2 SIAC, 2-4 overall) will travel to Lane College (1-1 SIAC, 4-2 overall) in Jackson, TN on Saturday for a conference matchup. The kickoff will be at 2 p.m. The Golden Bears are trying to halt a two-game losing streak.

Miles College will have to use its ground attack to effectively move the football. The Golden Bears leading rushers are running backs Donte Edwards and Kingston Davis. Edwards has gained 493 yards on 89 carries. He’s averaging 5.5 yards a carry. Davis has rushed for 391 yards on 80 attempts. He averages 4.9 yards a carry.

On defense, linebackers Andrew Gaylor and Mitchell Smiley lead the way. Gaylor (38 total tackles) and Smiley (36 total tackles) have done a great job of playing the run. Miles College will need a strong effort from both players against Lane College.

In another SIAC tilt, Tuskegee University (1-1 SIAC, 2-4 overall) will face Central State (0-3 SIAC, 1-5 overall) on Saturday. The kickoff is set for 12 p.m. The Golden Tigers will go on the road for this conference game.

Tuskegee University’s key players are running back Ivonte Patterson and wide receiver Steven Hodges. Patterson averages 4.9 yards a carry. He has rushed for 512 yards on 105 carries while scoring six TDs. Hodges has a team-leading 18 receptions for 319 yards and two TDs. Both players hope to get the Golden tigers in the win column.


SIAC Standings


Conf.                          Overall

Savannah State                  3-0                              5-1

Albany State                      2-0                                5-1

Fort Valley State                 2-0                                4-2

Benedict                            0-2                                3-3

Clark Atlanta                      0-2                              2-4

Morehouse                         1-1                               1-5



Conf.                          Overall

Miles College                        1-2                              2-4

Lane                                    1-1                             4-2

Kentucky State                     2-1                             3-3

Tuskegee University              1-1                             2-4

Central State                       0-3                             1-5

Allen University                   0-0                             3-3

Edward Waters                    0-0                             2-4



Tuskegee University at Central State 1 p.m. Wilberforce, Ohio

Kentucky State at Edward Waters 1 p.m. Jacksonville, FL

Albany State at Benedict 2 p.m. Columbia, S.C.

Fort Valley State at Morehouse 3 p.m. Atlanta, Ga.

Miles College at Lane 3 p.m. Jackson, TN

Clark Atlanta at Savannah State 3 p.m. Savannah, Ga.


SWAC Standings


Conf.                          Overall

Jackson State                       2-0                              4-1

Alabama State                     2-1                              3-2

Florida A&M                         1-1                              3-2

Mississippi Valley State         1-1                              2-3

Alabama A&M                      1-2                              3-2

Bethune-Cookman               0-3                             0-6



Conf.                          Overall

Prairie View A&M               3-0                                 4-1

Alcorn State                      2-0                                3-2

Southern                          1-1                                2-3

Texas Southern                1-1                                1-3

Grambling State               1-2                                2-4

Arkansas-Pine Bluff           0-3                               1-4



Prairie View A&M at Bethune-Cookman 12 p.m. Daytona Beach, Fl

Florida A&M at Alabama A&M 1 p.m. Huntsville, AL

Southern at Arkansas-Pine Bluff 2 p.m. Pine Bluff, AR

Texas Southern at Grambling State 2 p.m. Grambling, La.

Alabama State at Jackson State 2 p.m. Jackson, Miss.

Alcorn State at Mississippi Valley State 3 p.m. Itta Bena, Miss


Match of the Week

Alabama State at Jackson State 2 p.m. Jackson, Miss.