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HBCU Preview: Miles College to Host Valdosta St. in Key Matchup

Safety Graderius Brown is a leader on this year's Miles College Golden Bears team. (Miles College Athletics)

By Donald Hunt

For The Birmingham Times

Miles College will host Valdosta State, one of the top Division II teams in the country, on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. The Golden Bears will be looking for its first victory of the young season, coming off two straight losses to Alabama State and West Alabama respectively. The Golden Bears have given up 52 points in two games, an average of 26 a game, which they can’t afford to do against Valdosta.

The Blazers are (1-1) and was rated No. 2 in the Division II rankings until Virginia Union posted a 45-40 upset. VSU is currently rated 15th nationally according to the latest American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II poll.

Miles College was the preseason favorite to win the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) West Division and entering its third consecutive non-conference game. Miles College would like to begin regular season play on a high note and a win over Valdosta State would do that.

Miles head coach Sam Shade will need a strong effort on both sides of the football. Offensively, the Golden Bears biggest threat appears to be wide receiver Marcus Lodge who can catch and make plays in the open field. On defense, Roosevelt Thompson is a great run stopper at defensive tackle. Linebacker Austin Brundidge can play the run as well as the pass.

In other SIAC action, Tuskegee University (0-2) will play West Alabama (2-0) on the road Saturday, Sept. 17. The kickoff for this non-conference game will be at 2 p.m.

Running back Donte Edwards and wide receiver Keynon Webb have been the Golden Tigers best offensive players this season. Edwards has rushed for 117 yards on 34 carries. Webb has caught 10 passes for 103 yards and one touchdown.

In the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), Alabama State (2-1) will entertain Prairie View A&M (1-1) in its regular season opener. The Hornets are led by a solid passing game that features quarterback Myles Crawford (26-for-46 for 400 yards with 2TDs and 2 interceptions) and wide receivers Isaiah Scott (8 receptions for 169 yards and 1 TD), La’Vontae Shenault (8 receptions for 139 yards) and Darius Edmonds (5 catches for 113 yards and 1TD).

Alabama A&M (0-2) will host Austin Peay (2-0) in a non-conference game on Saturday, Sept. 17. The kickoff is set for 2 p.m. The Bulldogs are still looking for the first win of the season before the SWAC regular season schedule begins next week against Florida A&M.

Wide receiver Isiah Cox has been a real bright spot for Alabama A&M. Cox has five receptions for 153 yards.

SWAC Schedule Saturday, Sept. 17

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

Grambling State at Jackson State 1 p.m. Jackson, Miss.

Austin Peay at Alabama A&M 2 p.m. Huntsville, AL

Delta State at Mississippi Valley State 6 p.m. Itta Bena, Miss.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Oklahoma State 6 p.m. Stillwater, OK

Incarnate Word at Prairie View A&M 6 p.m. Prairie View, TX

Alcorn State at McNeese State 7 p.m. Lake Charles, La.

SIAC Schedule Saturday, Sept. 17

Thursday, Sept. 15

Savannah State at Benedict 7:30 p.m. Columbia, S.C.

Saturday, Sept. 17

Kentucky State at Dayton 1 p.m. Dayton, OH

Clark Atlanta at Lane College 2 p.m. Jackson, TN

Valdosta State at Miles College 6 p.m. Fairfield, AL

Central State at Bluefield State 12 p.m. Bluefield, WV

Albany State at Shorter 12 p.m. Rome, GA

Allen University at Fort Valley State 2 p.m. Fort Valley, GA

Morehouse at Howard University 3 p.m. East Rutherford, N.J.

Tuskegee University at West Alabama 3 p.m. Livingston, AL

SWAC Standings

SWAC East                            Conference              Overall

Jackson State                                 1-0                              2-0

Alabama State                                0-0                              2-1

Bethune-Cookman                          0-0                              0-2

Alabama A&M                                 0-0                              0-2

Mississippi Valley State                    0-0                              0-2

Florida A&M                                    0-1                              1-2


SWAC West                          Conference              Overall

Prairie View A&M                          1-0                             1-1

Arkansas-Pine Bluff                      0-0                             2-0

Southern                                    0-0                              1-1

Grambling State                         0-0                              1-1

Alcorn State                               0-0                              0-2

Texas Southern                          0-1                              0-2

SIAC Standings

SIAC East                               Conference              Overall

Clark Atlanta                              1-0                              1-1

Savannah State                          1-0                              1-1

Fort Valley State                         0-0                              2-0

Benedict                                     0-0                              2-0

Albany State                               0-0                              1-1

Allen University                           0-0                              0-1

Morehouse                                  0-0                              0-2

Edward Waters                            0-2                              0-3


SIAC West                             Conference              Overall

Central State                              0-0                              1-1

Lane College                               0-0                              0-2

Miles College                               0-0                              0-2

Tuskegee University                     0-0                              0-2

Kentucky State                            0-0                              0-2



Valdosta State at Miles College 6 p.m. Fairfield, AL